Scotland may struggle to emulate Argentina against the world champions
As if starting their qualifying campaign for France in two year’s time away to the world champions wasn’t bad enough, Scotland have also lost several of their initial squad due to injury – Christophe Berra, Graham Dorrans and Andrew Robertson have all withdrawn.
They also face a German side looking to restore pride after they were humbled by Argentina on Wednesday, just two months after beating the same country in the World Cup Final.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has warned that Germany can’t take qualification for granted for Euro 2016, even though they appear to have a relatively straightforward task in their group.
Mertesacker is one of a number of Germany’s World Cup-winning side to have announced their retirement in recent weeks – captain Philipp Lahm and striker Miroslav Klose have also called time on their international careers in a bid to extend their time at their club – and new captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is currently injured.
So it will be a much-changed side that Joachim Low puts out in Dortmund. He’s added Schalke 04 forward Sidney Sam to his party to give support to Mario Gomez as Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummel will miss the match against the Scots, along with Julian Draxler.
But the clinical Thomas Muller will almost certainly start and Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle is likely to be an important player for his country in the next few years.
Scotland often go into these qualifying campaigns full of hope only to disappoint but expectations are possibly a little lower this time around. That said, the Tartan Army will still be in full voice behind Gordon Strachan’s men at the Signal Iduna Park this Sunday.
Darren Fletcher will captain the side and anchor the midfield and there is hope that the pace of Watford’s Ikechi Anya will expose flaws in the German back-line that weren’t so obvious in Brazil, though he’ll have to get through a very formidable midfield first.
Germany just don’t slip up when it matters but aren’t worth backing to beat a weakened Scotland at 2/15. A better bet may be to take the home side to score three or more goals at 8/13.
This match kicks off at 7.45pm on Sunday, September 7th at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund.