STAR PREVIEW: Germany v Argentina

Perhaps Germany or Argentina aren’t the forces that they used to be since meeting in the 2014 World Cup final, but they can put on an entertaining clash tonight in Dortmund.

Germany coach Jogi Loew isn’t riding quite as high as he was when the pair last met in that World Cup final, with the Germans having hit a slump in the last two years since they reached the semi-finals of the European Championships. Their World Cup was a disaster when they went out at the group stage, and they were relegated from the top tier of the Nations League – although they have since been given a reprieve.

Euro 2020 qualifying has gone better for them – they’re top of Group C, albeit on goal difference – but their 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands was a sharp reminder of the challenges they face when it comes to facing the best of the best.

Argentina tonight could be a more manageable encounter for them. The Albiceste travel here without their peak form European players Sergio Aguero or Angel Di Maria and to top it all off, talisman Lionel Messi is banned. It gets worse, as the involvement of River Plate and Boca Juniors in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores has ruled out a whole host of players.

Germany v Argentina
International Friendly
19:45 Sky Sports Football HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2000)
SEP 2014 FRIENDLY Germany 2-4 Argentina
JUL 2014 WORLD CUP Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET)
AUG 2012 FRIENDLY Germany 1-3 Argentina
JUL 2010 WORLD CUP Argentina 0-4 Germany
MAR 2010 FRIENDLY Germany 0-1 Argentina
JUN 2006 WORLD CUP Germany 1-1 Argentina
JUN 2005 CONFEDERATIONS CUP Germany 2-2 Argentina
FEB 2005 FRIENDLY Germany 2-2 Argentina
APR 2002 FRIENDLY Germany 0-1 Argentina

The visitors will be looking to Inter’s Lautaro Martinez to continue his good form on the international stage, along with the mercurial Paulo Dybala, but a bigger problem is that they could be more vulnerable defensively too.

Marco Reus already has five goals this season for Dortmund and will be flanked by Serge Gnabry, fresh from dismantling Tottenham, and Timo Werner has seven goals to his name so far for Red Bull Leipzig.

That’s a fearsome attacking line for any side, and they will face a defensive lineup with Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, and Juan Foyth. None of those three, Otamendi especially, have been in brilliant form domestically and Germany should be able to get at the Argentinian backline.

The visitors will hope to target the same German deficiencies that came to light in the second half against the Dutch – especially on the wings – and goals would be no surprise, but they may find that the hosts have more resources available to them and Germany look the bet here.

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