20 November 2019
Germany will look to complete their successful 2020 European Championship Qualifying (ECQ) campaign with a bang when they take on Northern Ireland at the Commerzbank-Arena this week.
The hosts have won each of their previous three ECQ matches, all of which have seen them score 2+ goals and keep a clean sheet. A shock 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands aside, Die Mannschaft have won both of their remaining home qualifiers, netting at least four goals per match and keeping a clean sheet on both occasions. What’s more, Joachim Low’s men have racked up an intimidating eight-game winning run in H2H meetings with Northern Ireland, bagging over 1.5 match goals in seven of those clashes while shutting out Norn Iron five times in the process. Additionally, free-scoring Germany have scored two or more goals in seven of their last eight home outings, friendlies included. A potential worry for Low could be that his players have failed to keep a blank sheet in five games during the above sequence.
Meanwhile, the visitors’ hopes of securing the top-two finish in Group C have vanished following a goalless home draw with the Netherlands last time out. It was their third consecutive qualifying match where they failed to pick up three points (D1, L2), and the second where they drew a blank. Interestingly though, Michael O’Neill’s side won both of their opening ECQ away games via a single-goal margin before losing 3-1 to the Oranje. Also, all four away goals they have scored so far have come in the second half, with three of them arriving beyond the 75th minute. Still, a lack of goals on the road has been a problem for Northern Ireland recently, as they’ve netted one goal or less in six of their previous seven competitive away matches.
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