Lewis Ambrose

With the help of Berlin-based football writer @LGAmbrose, the Cloudbet Blog takes a look at the England vs Germany clash being played at Wembley. Is football really coming home? 

England’s pragmatism could be their undoing against Germany

The draw has opened up and it’s impossible not to think that either England or Germany will be back at Wembley before the tournament ends. The pair meet in London today, with the winner set to face either Ukraine or Sweden before potentially returning to Wembley for a semi-final.

Cloudbet odds on England reaching the final are 3.11 and 3.57 on Germany, while in the outright winners market, Spain are now favoured (at 4.00) to be crowned kings of Europe, followed by Italy (5.00), England (5.50) and Germany (7.50).  

But perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves as neither Germany nor England have really convinced yet this summer.

Germany have had the second-most possession at Euro 2020 so far, behind only Spain (what a finish to their last match!), and the best pass completion. They’ve translated that into 40 shots, but struggled to create clear chances against both France and Hungary, taking just one point from those two matches. At the other end of the pitch they look fragile, having conceded five times in the group stage, with both Portugal and Hungary breaking at pace to score. Germany haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven games.

Then there’s England, who have been fairly comfortable yet have also struggled to impress so far. Only Finland and Hungary have taken fewer than England’s 23 shots in the competition to date. But they’re defensively very good, with no team conceding less than the 1.7xG conceded by Gareth Southgate’s side. 

An England win and clean sheet would surprise nobody - which might make the current odds on England winning to nil appealing at 4.20.

England are favourites...

England are the favourites: they’ve had a much better last few years than Germany, were convincing at the last World Cup and Nations League, and have avoided any shock results akin to Germany’s 6-0 defeat to Spain in November, or to North Macedonia earlier this year. Plus they’re at Wembley. 

But they could get in their own way.

Southgate has an embarrassment of attacking riches, but has largely held them back, preventing his fullbacks playing too adventurously and lining up with two defensive-minded midfielders in Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice. The focus has been on protecting the defence rather than letting the attacking players off the leash.

… but look set to adjust to their opposition

England have not leaned into their strengths this summer and are expected to take the pragmatic route again at Wembley, switching their 4-3-3 for a 3-4-3 to match Germany’s setup. The focus is, again, on keeping a clean sheet first before seeing if they can score the winner at the other end.

The question is whether it will work like that or not. Expect England to be solid again, but Germany should provide by far the biggest test to their defence yet.

With Leon Goretzka likely to replace Ilkay Gündogan and Thomas Müller ready to come back into the starting lineup, Germany have a real mixture of players who can both create and exploit space against any side. 

If they click.

Current odds on an England win are at 2.52; a draw is offered at 3.35 and a Germany win at 3.06 - though some may struggle to see why England deserve that favouritism.

With England likely to match the German system, they could play into the visitors’ hands. Müller in particular has the movement and intelligence to always find time on the ball and drag players out of position. The likes of Goretzka, Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry have the sharp, direct movement to take advantage of those spaces as Müller roams.

Who dares wins?

The real key to this game, though, will be in scoring first. England are solid defensively, and Germany open on the break. If Southgate’s side get their noses ahead, they can soak up pressure before killing things off in space. If Germany scores first, England will be in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable position of having to dominate possession and take more risks, leaving more space for the counterattack.

Cloudbet scorer markets favour Harry Kane to strike first, followed by Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry and Raheem Sterling, in that order. And have the same four players, in the same order - albeit at lower odds - to score at any point through the game.

And then there are the subs. If the game remains cagey and close into the dying stages, England have incredible depth if they need to break the deadlock. Germany have talent in depth too, but Timo Werner and Leroy Sane have disappointed.

And we do expect it to be cagey. It should be close.

Germany need to come flying out of the blocks like they did in their 4-2 win against Portugal and let England know the game won’t be played on their terms. Otherwise, Die Mannschaft will be looking at a long, frustrating night in London.

Money Talks - Probability vs The Action

Cloudbet's proprietary Money Talks feature offers a direct representation of the odds on an event (the Probability line) and of the action taken so far by Cloudbet - shown by the Money Talks line. It's important to realise that the Money Talks line represents the number of bets taken, not the amount taken from bets so far.

The result? We can immediately see if bettors are toeing the odds-implied favoured outcome or not.

Judging from the action seen so far at Cloudbet, either the bettors see it differently from the odds-implied likelihood of a England win, or the odds available on a Germany win are large enough to justify taking the risk.

All odds given are correct at the time of writing, but please ensure you check the live site for the most recent numbers. 

Jun 29, 2021

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