Netherlands v Germany: Ronald's rebuild to take a step forward
The Netherlands and Germany are both hoping to bounce back after recent disappointments, and our Bundesliga columnist Kevin Hatchard thinks it could be another frustrating night for Jogi Low's side.
"Germany have won just three of their last 11 games, and many of their players are off-form in club football."
Netherlands v Germany
Saturday 13 October, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports
Dutch making progress on road to recovery
After failing to qualify for either Euro 2016 or this year's World Cup, the Netherlands are desperate to make sure they make the Euro 2020 finals, and coach Ronald Koeman has made an encouraging start to his tenure.
The Oranje were undone 2-1 by France in their opening Nations League fixture, but they competed well in Paris, losing to a stunning goal from Olivier Giroud.
Koeman is taking the Nations League deadly seriously, and will select his strongest team, regardless of the concerns of Champions League combatants PSV and Ajax. He is more likely to experiment in next Tuesday's friendly against Benelux rivals Belgium in Brussels.
If you look at the team's results under Koeman, it's a decent body of work. A narrow defeat to England was Koeman's first match in charge, and the Dutch have since beaten Portugal and held Italy to a draw in Turin.
Low and Germany trying to reclaim lost authority
It's been a jarring few months for German football at international level. While the domestic Bundesliga continues to thrive, and may even feature a gripping title race this season, a national team that once appeared immune to doubt is now wracked with it. A disastrous World Cup campaign shattered Germany's aura of invincibility, and a humiliating relegation from the top band of the new Nations League must be avoided at all costs.
It doesn't bode particularly well that many of the key players are off form with their clubs. The likes of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller are all struggling for Bayern Munich, Toni Kroos has played his part in Real Madrid's recent slump, and players such as Julian Draxler and Sebastian Rudy simply haven't played much football this season.
Low is confident that such domestic blips won't affect Germany too much, but while his assurances would once have been enough to calm the nerves, the Bundestrainer's complacent displays at the World Cup have seen confidence in his pronouncements eroded. The loss of Marco Reus and Kai Havertz (who actually are playing well) to injury represents a double blow.
The presence of several thousand fans at a recent training session in Berlin suggests there is still plenty of enthusiasm for the national team, and it must be borne in mind that the last few months have been a rare blip in a 12-year spell of general excellence under Low. That said, the next couple of international breaks could shape the narrative for a long time to come.
Germany too short to take the win
Germany are unbeaten in their last six matches against their bitter rivals (watch Rijkaard v Voeller to see how bitter), but given the shape they are currently in, they seem too short to take the win at [2.18].
The Dutch were impressive against France, and are in a good position to take advantage of any nervousness in the German ranks. Bear in mind that Germany have won just three of their last 11 games.
You can back Home and Draw in the Double Chance market at [1.83].
Defensive improvement could legitimise unders bet
Under 2.5 Goals is the outsider here, trading at [2.18]. It's worth considering that under Koeman the Dutch have only conceded multiple goals once in six matches, and that was against the world champions.
Germany have drawn a blank in three of their last five games (including two of their three World Cup matches), and their goalless draw against France suggested they were prioritising solidity and control.
I think backing Under 2.5 Goals is a sensible play here.
Back Home and Draw in the Double Chance market at [1.83]
Back Under 2.5 Goals at [2.18]