Germany take on Slovakia later today and the world champions will be confident of progressing to the last eight.
These two sides met in a friendly fixture just last month as Slovakia claimed a shock 3-1 win on German soil. That result does not particularly concern me in regards to getting behind the Germans today however, as Joachim Low fielded a weakened team (there was no Neuer, Kroos, Hummels, Muller, Ozil etc) and torrential rain played a significant part in that result. The deluge was so bad the game was interrupted for around 30 minutes and arguably should have been abandoned.
It was also a friendly, and Germany are a tournament team. So far they’ve beaten Ukraine with relative ease, been held by a tough Poland side and edged past Northern Ireland, but now we’re in the knockout stages expect them to step it up another gear. Slovakia managed to hold England to a draw in their final group outing but they spent a large part of that match camped in their own half and the same tactics against a more clinical German side may well prove less effective.
If Low’s men can find an early breakthrough it could be a very long 90 minutes for Slovakia and my top bet in this clash is a Germany win with a -1 handicap at 7/5. Slovakia do have a few quality players and they may be able to spring a surprise but the more likely scenario is a one-sided contest and the 17/2 on offer for a 3-0 German win is also very tempting.