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The odds for USMNT vs. Germany have been supplied by the Draft Kings sportsbook, where bettors can Bet $5, Get $200 + No Sweat SGP.
Despite their patchy results over the last 12 months or so, Germany shouldn't have too much trouble with the USMNT in this one.
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The USA have long had to confront the same problem. Within their own region, they are invariably one of the strongest sides. But when they take to the world stage, that is often not the case.
In the Gold Cup, CONCACAF Nations League and World Cup qualifying, the USA are expected to win a majority of the matches they contest. The only exception to that is meetings with Mexico, and even then, the USMNT are often favored by the best online sportsbooks.
In 2023, for instance, the USA have faced the likes of Grenada, El Salvador, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago within their own confederation. When there has been an opportunity to play friendlies, they have usually had to make do with second-rate sides like Oman and Uzbekistan due to other commitments from nations in Europe and South America.
There have certainly been tougher matches too, such as friendlies against Serbia and Colombia, and competitive games against Canada and Mexico. Yet the opportunity to play a true global heavyweight like Germany will be welcomed by Gregg Berhalter and his coaching staff.
For the USA, the next three years are all about building for World Cup 2026. In the last edition of that tournament, held in Qatar last winter, they were knocked out by the Netherlands - like Germany, an established power from Western Europe.
It is important that the USMNT face a range of challenges before the next World Cup, the bulk of which will be held on home soil. There is only so much value you can get from 6-0 thrashings of CONCACAF minnows.
No matter the result on Saturday, Berhalter will learn plenty from this game. Given this is only a friendly and the scoreline therefore does not matter a great deal, those takeaways - good or bad - will be invaluable.
Unlike the USA, Germany cannot afford to look as far ahead as the 2026 World Cup. It is not that the Stars and Stripes have no other commitments until then - there is next summer’s Copa America, plus the usual Gold Cups and CONCACAF Nations Leagues - but Euro 2024 is much more important to the Mannschaft than any of those tournaments are to the USA.
That is in part due to the historic importance of that competition, but also because Germany will host the upcoming edition. That increases the pressure on their national team, which goes into virtually every tournament with the aim of winning it.
Germany’s preparations for the European Championship have been less than ideal, to say the very least. For the second successive World Cup, the four-time champions crashed out in the group stage in Qatar.
Results did not improve sufficiently in 2023, leading to Hansi Flick’s dismissal as manager last month. The final straw was a remarkable 4-1 home loss to Japan, their third defeat in a row after previous setbacks against Poland and Japan.
Julian Nagelsmann is the man at the helm now, although his contract runs only until the end of the European Championship. His job is to ensure Germany are competitive at that tournament, and friendlies such as this one will be useful in helping him work out his preferred starting XI.
By the Germans’ high standards, a record of one tournament win in the last 26 years is below par. Yet it is clear that Nagelsmann has a lot of work to do if the Mannschaft are to lift another trophy next summer.
Germany’s recent results have not been great, but it is worth bearing in mind the talent they still have within the squad.
Indeed, the roster selected by Nagelsmann includes the likes of Barcelona duo Ilkay Gundogan and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger, and Bayern Munich stars Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane, and Thomas Muller.
It is not that the USA does not have gifted players at their disposal. Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah play for top Italian sides. Several members of the squad ply their trade in the English Premier League.
But there is no doubt that Germany’s group is stronger than the USA’s, and that could ultimately be the main factor in determining the outcome of this weekend’s friendly.
As we mentioned above, defeat need not provoke talk of a crisis within the American camp. Germany are at a low ebb but Nagelsmann is an astute coach and he should be able to turn things around.
The Mannschaft will not be fazed by playing the USA away from home. All in all, we think a Germany victory is the best bet for Saturday’s showdown in Connecticut.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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