After a first win of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League, Germany will look to keep the heat on group A4 leaders Spain when they take on Switzerland.
RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany
Key Stat: Germany have stretched their good form to just one loss in their last 16 matches in all competitions.
Expert Verdict: Germany followed up two draws in their first two games by beating Ukraine last time out. It was the first time in four matches they had successfully built on a lead, even if they were made to sweat on the points late on, and they can kick on now by beating Switzerland in this game too.
Germany were back to full strength last time out and, despite the quick turnaround, it could be a similar team this time out. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz are among the highest-profile options to bring into the starting XI.
Timo Werner – A late substitute only last time out and fresh legs up front – and a goalscorer keen to get back on it at national level – could be vital.
Serge Gnabry – Led the line last time out and, while he could not add to his 13 goals in 14 international appearances, his prolific record shows what he is capable of.
Toni Kroos – Capable of dictating play in the middle of the pitch, the Real Madrid midfielder remains a vital part of the German set-up.
Germany ended a run of three consecutive draws by beating Ukraine last time out. Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka scored as the Germans held onto a lead for the first time since the resumption of international football – although Ukraine did pull one back late on. Previously, Germany had drawn 1-1 with Spain and Switzerland and 3-3 with Turkey despite leading five times across those three matches.
Defenders:Mathias Ginter, Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger
Midfielders:Josh Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Leon Goretzka, Jonas Hofmann
Forwards:Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Serge Gnabry
Renato Steffen is back from suspension but has already had to leave the squad due to injury, joining the likes of Michael Lang and Breel Embolo in missing out. A narrower system meant Mario Gavranovic and Xherdan Shaqiri missed out and both could provide a different kind of option this time.
Xherdan Shaqiri – One option to bring in and, while he has failed to make a big impact at Liverpool, he remains an iconic player for Switzerland.
Haris Seferovic – Led the line without success against Spain, but he remains a key man up front for Switzerland and is likely to be the lone strike again this time.
Mario Gavranovic – Scored in the defeat to Croatia – his eighth for Switzerland – and is another, like Shaqiri, who could come into the starting XI this time.
Switzerland remain without a win since international football resumed, losing three and drawing one of their four matches. They drew 1-1 with Germany after an opening loss to Ukraine, but they then lost 2-1 in a friendly with Croatia and 1-0 in Spain last time out.
Defenders:Silvan Widmer, Nico Elvedi, Fabian Schar, Ricardo Rodriguez, Loris Benito
Midfielders:Mario Gavranovic, Djibril Sow, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri
The 1-1 draw last month was the first meeting between these two nations since May 2012, when Switzerland ended a winless streak against Germany stretching back to 1959 with a 5-3 win. Last time out, Ilkay Gundogan put Germany in front but Silvan Widmer levelled in the second half.
Germany should view the away draw with Switzerland as two points dropped, given the Swiss have lost the three other matches they have played this year.
It was another case of Germany failing to hold the lead, but they got back to winning ways last time out against the Ukraine.
Even then, they conceded a penalty and were made to sweat late on and they need a shut-out at the back to get some confidence back at that end of the pitch.
At the other end, there is plenty of talent, with Timo Werner and Kai Havertz among the players who could come in to bolster the attack.
They scored twice without the Chelsea duo last time out anyway and, while Switzerland are tough to break down, they can follow Ukraine, Spain and Croatia in beating the Swiss.
For Switzerland’s part, they are so often a tough team to beat but that seems to have dropped in the last two months.
Three defeats has highlighted some deficiencies in this team and the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri – so key in recent seasons – has seen his star wane.
He and Mario Gavranovic could come into the team this time out, but the two coming in could leave gaps at the other end.
It is a tough balancing act and, on current form, it is one Germany need to take advantage of.
Germany are odds-on favourites to win at home to Switzerland and can be backed at 1/2 with Betway and Bet365.
Germany have been prone to conceding lately, however, and both teams to score has been set at a best price of 5/6 with Betway.
Over 2.5 goals will return 4/6 with Bet365.
Timo Werner is 19/20 with Betway to score at any time, while Serge Gnabry is evens with Betway.
Germany got back to winning ways last time out and three points against out-of-form Switzerland could be key.