Two of the world’s football heavyweights come face to face on Wednesday night as Germany play host to Argentina at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. The fixture has been dubbed as a ‘warm up’ game for the Germans as they prepare for their Euro 2020 Qualifier with Estonia this weekend.
The sides boast six FIFA World Cups between them and whilst the term ‘international friendly’ won’t get you off your seat for this one, I’m still expecting an entertaining fixture between the two sides with some world class players on show.
Germany have a lengthy injury list to ponder over in this international break with nine first team players out of the squad through injury including the likes of Leroy Sane and Toni Kroos. Andre ter Stegen looks set to start in goal as controversy over Manuel Neuer continues. Suat Serdar has been called up as a replacement for the injured Toni Kroos, whilst Nadiem Amiri could make his debut for Germany after earning a first call-up to the senior squad.
Players out: Draxler (foot), Ginter (shoulder), Goretzka (thigh), Hector (muscular), Kehrer (foot), Kroos (thigh), Rüdiger (groin), Sane (cruciate ligament) and Schulz (ankle).
Argentina have some serious squad issues ahead of the game. They’re without a host of their biggest names for the trip to Dortmund including Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero who have been left out of Lionel Scaloni’s squad, while captain and talisman Lionel Messi is still serving a three-month ban issued by CONMEBOL for comments made at this summer’s Copa America. The South Americans will also be without players from bitter domestic rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors, who go head-to-head in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-finals later this month.
Players out: Aguero (not selected), Andrada (Copa Libertadores), Armani (Copa Libertadores), J. Correa (muscle), Di Maria (not selected), Lo Celso (hip), Mac Allister (Copa Libertadores), Lu. Martinez (Copa Libertadores), Messi (suspended), Montiel (Copa Libertadores), Palacios (Copa Libertadores)
Germany currently sit top of their European Championship qualifying group, with four wins from their first five games including an emphatic 8-0 win against Estonia. They look on top form right now, having lost just one of their last seven outings and it’s hard to see where Argentina will threaten Germany enough to control the game without Messi and Aguero. The absence of them both will be a huge blow for the visitors.
Germany have won five of the last six internationals in which Serge Gnabry has scored in, with the winger netting a staggering nine goals across those encounters. The 24 year-old has been on fire for club and country and given an opportunity I expect him to find the net.