By Mike D'Angelo
All lines below provided by DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing
The Three Lions vs. Die Mannschaft
England will face Germany in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 after topping Group D, while the Three Lions booked their place in the Round of 16 after Raheem Sterling secured victory for the second time this tournament. Gareth Southgate’s team will now play Germany, who finished as the runner up in Group F.
These two countries have a long footballing rivalry, one which really peaked in 1966 when England met West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley in a match that saw Geoff Hurst’s famous yet controversial hat-trick. That was indeed their first competitive meeting, despite their most recent match featuring Germany emphatically knock England out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by winning 4-1 in their Round of 16 head-to-head contest. England’s most recent victory over Germany came in only a friendly in 2016, winning 3-2 in a thrilling match after having been 2-0 down. Their last competitive win over the Germans, however, came in 2001 in a 5-1 thrashing in the World Cup qualifying round.
England is getting the privilege of playing at Wembley at home on Tuesday and are perceived as slight favorites over their German counterparts. The problem is though, when you break down the numbers and the teams at hand, there is not much to like in the England camp here. Harry Kane being out of form, a questionable back line and managerial question marks are all things that should alarm you before you want to put your hard-earned money on England in this spot on the pitch. The fact is, against far weaker competition, England has only been able to score twice. That goal scorer was none other than out of form Raheem Sterling himself, a player who could barely start for Manchester City and is now taking time from other players such as Rashford, Sancho or Grealish, who could be filling his spot on the offensive end. Alas, it still looks like the right choice as he is scoring literally all the teams' goals (2). In this tournament Kane has failed to register a shot on target and only Hungary and Finland totaled fewer attempts in group play.
Then there is Germany, who in Joachim Löw’s last stint as manager, does not look great either on the surface after losing to the World Cup Champions 1-0 from a spectacular own goal by Matt Hummels, beating Portugal in a 4-2 thriller, and then awkwardly keeping their European hopes alive by tying Hungary 2-2. The difference, however, is that when we look at these games in depth we can see one thing: Germany can score. The Germans always boast a high work rate regardless of who is in front of them, and while they may not be in their tip top shape as in previous years, they remain organize and fearless. And between a few key players with a manager who probably wants to see his team lift the trophy one last time before his departure, the Germans are right for the picking here. Germany's expected goals (which is based on their creation of scoring chances) have been around 2.2 expected goals per game for the games outside of the first one. The three lions, on the other hand, have NEVER managed to have one expected goal per game at any point (0.9 was the closest against Croatia) So do the Germans look great? Maybe not, but the math says they have been rather unlucky, rather than underwhelming. If Germany scores in this match, then I do not see England being able to get back into it at all. The Three Lions' lackluster pressing, slow build up play, and lack of any urgency shows me that I cannot back them against Die Mannschaft.
A lot of people have match unders for this game, such as the U 2.5 goals match total which is sitting at (-150). While I do not disagree with this play, here is an issue and tip for you to keep in mind: these are professional athletes playing at the top level, and they simply do not want to go home. Every team will fight tooth and nail to stay alive and do everything to win in a knockout game like this on Tuesday. This could easily lead to easy counter attack goals and/or mistakes from both mental and physical exhaustion as well. If you are losing 2-0 in the 80th minute, then at that point, you are throwing everyone forward in hopes to get your team back in it, and possibly leaving your team exposed/your bet ruined in the process.
Best Value Bets: Germany (+187) AND England TT U 0.5 (+220)