Australia v Germany
Monday June 17, 16:00
Live on ITV 4
So, as you lot have probably figured out by now, Bet of the Day has undergone a temporary change. We're focusing on the Confederations Cup for next week-and-a-half, and in this piece we'll take a look at Australia and Germany's first foray into the competition's waters.
Germany are involved due to their status as world champions, and they are [7.0] favourites to win next year's World Cup, for which this tournament in Russia is a dress rehearsal. Bundestrainer Jogi Loew has selected an inexperienced squad for this tournament, and is hoping a few players will put their hands up for next year.
After a 1-1 draw in Denmark, this group of players thumped San Marino 7-0 in a World Cup qualifier, a victory that featured a Sandro Wagner hat-trick. It was only Wagner's second senior international appearance, and the burly Hoffenheim striker is one of the players from this group that could stick around for a while.
With the pace of Timo Werner, the ingenuity and positional sense of Lars Stindl, and the trickery of Julian Draxler, Loew certainly has plenty of attacking options at his disposal. At the other end of the pitch, Roma's Antonio Rudiger has the chance to prove he belongs at this level, and had taken the rough edges off his defending. Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno will start on Monday, but all three custodians in the squad are expected to get a match in the group stage.
Australia are only third in their World Cup qualifying group, and they were recently thumped 4-0 by Brazil in a friendly. They lost against Greece and England last year, and this game against Germany is a huge challenge for Ange Postecoglou's team. Aaron Mooy, who has just helped Huddersfield Town into the Premier League, could catch the eye, as could Celtic's Tom Rogic. However, it says a lot about the scant resources available to Postecoglou that 37-year-old Tim Cahill is still part of the set-up.
Germany are undoubtedly short of a few key players, but this group had now had a bit of time to gel on and off the pitch (the squad dynamic is very important to Loew), and I think they'll be simply too strong for the Aussies.
Back Germany -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at [2.15]