Germany vs Serbia Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

​Germany host Serbia in an international friendly at Volkswagen Arena on Wednesday night as both sides prepare for their respective Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

The home team will travel to the Netherlands for their first clash on Sunday, whilst the Serbs face Portugal on Monday evening in Group B. Both managers will be using the midweek friendly as an opportunity to try out new players and tactics before they begin their respective qualifying campaigns.

Serbia v Montenegro - UEFA Nations League C

Joachim Löw’s men are still reeling from their World Cup nightmare and have yet to regain their once-scintillating form since returning from the tournament. In contrasting fashion, their opponents have been unbeaten since their exploits in Russia, a 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the group stages being their last loss.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the encounter in Wolfsburg.


Where to Watch

​When is Kick Off? ​Wednesday 20 March
What Time is Kick Off?​ ​19:45 (GMT)
​Where is it Played? ​Volkswagen Arena
​TV Channel/Live Stream? ​Sky Sports 1
Referee? ​Robert Madden

Team News

Löw made headlines at the start of the month with his announcement that Bayern Munich stalwarts Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng would no longer be considered for selection.

Cologne defender Jonas Hector, Schalke midfielder Sebastian Rudy and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze have suffered a similar fate after also being omitted from the coach’s most recent squad. Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler is unavailable due to injury.

Defensive duo Niklas Stark and Lukas Klostermann have received their first senior call ups, as has Werder Bremen midfielder Maximilian Eggestein, after the youngsters managed to impress in the Under-21 setup.

Aleksandar Kolarov has recovered from a knock to be named as Serbia’s captain for this week’s international match-ups. Official leadership roles have also been handed to Ajax’s Dušan Tadić and Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic.

Fulham hitman Mitrović is once again selected as he looks to continue his rich vein of form for the Balkan side. Highly-rated Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić is also in the squad, with the 24-year-old having enjoyed a superb season in Serie A.


Predicted Lineups

Germany ​Ter Stegen; Kehrer, Ginter, Süle, Rudiger, Schulz; Kimmich, Kroos; Gnabry, Sane, Werner
Serbia ​Rajković; Rukavina, Milenković, Veljković, Kolarov; Milinković-Savić, Matić, Lukić; Tadić, Ljajić, Mitrović.

Head to Head Record

This is just the third meeting between Germany and Serbia, with the record currently reading one victory apiece. 

In their last encounter it was the Serbians who emerged victorious, shocking their opponents 1-0 in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Then-Liverpool forward Milan Jovanović grabbed the only goal of the game, beating Manuel Neuer close to half time.

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That breakthrough came moments after Germany’s talismanic striker Miroslav Klose had been sent off for a dangerous lunge in what was a decidedly forgettable match for the favourites. Lukas Podolski also missed a penalty that day, compounding an awful showing from the Germans.

Two years prior they had won 2-1 in an international friendly at the Veltins Arena, with a late winner from Michael Ballack seeing his side home.


Recent Form

Germany have failed to move out of the shadow cast by their shambolic World Cup exit, continuing to struggle under intense scrutiny and criticism. Repeating their summer failure, the 2014 world champions came bottom of their UEFA Nations League pool over the autumn, unable to claim a single win.

They conceded twice late on to the Netherlands to forfeit a two-goal lead in their last match, ultimately drawing the game 2-2. That result followed up damaging defeats to the same opponents and France, completing a torrid 2018 for the nation.

A slim victory over Peru and a 3-0 drubbing of Russia – both of which were friendlies – are their only successes in recent fixtures, a record they must improve upon with critical qualifying matches to come.

Virgil van Dijk

The Eagles have fared much better of late, topping their Nations League group and seeing out the rest of the calendar year without a loss. However, they were competing in the third tier of the new tournament.

Nevertheless, triumphs over Lithuania and Montenegro, and a pair of draws against Romania, have left the Serbian camp in a buoyant mood. Their defence was impressive during that spell, as Mladen Krstajić’s team conceded just four goals across the six games.

Striker ​Aleksandar Mitrović stood out in those matches, netting six times to take his tally of international goals to 23.

Here’s how the two sides fared in their last five fixtures:

Germany Serbia
Germany 2-2 Netherlands (19/11) Serbia 4-1 Lithuania (20/11)
Germany 3-0 Russia (15/11) Serbia 2-1 Montenegro (17/11)
​France 2-1 Germany (16/10) ​Romania 0-0 Serbia (14/10)
​Netherlands 3-0 Germany (13/10) ​Montenegro 0-2 Serbia (11/10)
Germany 2-1 Peru (09/9) Serbia 2-2 Romania (10/09)

Prediction

​German football has endured one of its darkest periods in the last 12 months. The national side recorded their worst ever World Cup performance, whilst this week confirmed that the ​Bundesliga will have no representatives in the ​Champions League quarter-finals.

The visitors will look to take advantage of Germany’s low confidence, viewing this fixture as an excellent opportunity to claim a scalp. Pressure will certainly be on the hosts and they could wilt in a suffocating atmosphere.

Serbia v Montenegro - UEFA Nations League C

Recent displays suggest that an upset could be on at the Volkswagen Arena, with this being a period of transition for the Germans. Don’t be surprised to see Krstajić’s side claim a famous victory.

Prediction: Germany 0-1 Serbia

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Pontus Jansson Set for Three Weeks Out After Suffering Knee Injury in Sheffield United Defeat

​Leeds United will be without experienced defender Pontus Jansson for up to three weeks after the Swede injured his knee in the recent loss to rivals Sheffield United.

After dropping out of the automatic promotion places in the Championship after the defeat, things have since gotten worse for the Elland Road outfit with the news that Jansson is expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time after damaging his knee.

The Swede, who has been a prominent figure for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season, picked up the injury midway through the encounter but decided to see out proceedings. 

Mateusz Klich,Pontus Jansson

The hosts had used all of their substitutions by that point, with the centre back soldiering on to avoid the team having to go down to ten men, and Jansson will now play no part in Sweden’s upcoming games.

An official statement on Leeds’ ​website reads: “Pontus Jansson will not join up with the Swedish national team during the international break. 

Marcelo Bielsa

“The centre back suffered an injury to his knee in Saturday’s game with Sheffield United which will see him sidelined for three weeks. Jansson will begin his rehab at Thorp Arch with the Leeds United medical team this week.”

Fortunately for the club, Jansson will not miss too many games given that the latest set of international fixtures begin soon. He will be unavailable for clashes with ​Birmingham City and ​Millwall, but could return to face ​Preston North End on 9 April.

Pontus Jansson

On top of those ​Championship matches, the 28-year-old – who has 20 caps for Sweden – will miss his nation’s European Championship qualifiers against Romania and Norway.

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Roy Hodgson Admits Crystal Palace Remain Unsure When Wilfried Zaha Will Return From Hamstring Injury

Roy Hodgson has raised concerns over the fitness of Wilfried Zaha after the Crystal Palace manager admitted that he “doesn’t know” how long his star player will be sidelined for.

Zaha missed the Eagles’ FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Watford after picking up a hamstring injury in Palace’s most recent Premier League loss to Brighton.

Wilfried Zaha

The winger does, however, have two weeks to recover from the knock, with Crystal Palace set to face Huddersfield in a fortnight after the conclusion of the international break.

The injury to Zaha comes at a worrying time for Palace supporters with the defeat to arch-rivals Brighton seeing the gap between Hodgson’s side and the relegation zone reduced to just five points.

Hodgson refused to allay fears surrounding Zaha’s availability, saying, as quoted by the Evening Standard: “You never know with hamstring injuries and strains. You need to be careful.

“He felt it after the Brighton game, he didn’t train during the week. We took him out on Thursday under controlled conditions, but it was obvious it would have been a serious risk.

Roy Hodgson,Ray Lewington

“With the two weeks coming up we can only hope he recovers.”

Palace endured a disappointing week leading up to the international break after being dragged back into the Premier League relegation battle before seeing their FA Cup run come to an end at the hands of Watford.

The Zaha-less Eagles managed to equalise at Vicarage Road through Michy Batshuayi but succumbed to defeat when Andre Gray struck the winner 11 minutes from time for the hosts.

Roy Hodgson,Wilfried Zaha

Despite the damaging seven days, the Eagles still find themselves as firm favourites for Premier League survival with just eight matches left to play – though Hodgson admitted to his side’s struggles when deprived of the influential Zaha.

He added: “He’s an outstanding player. You will miss them. Today, there can be no doubt about the effort, desire about the team.”

Zaha has continued to star at Selhurst Park this season, scoring eight goals and adding five assists, but his time in south London remains in the balance as big clubs throughout Europe eye the talented Ivorian international.

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Chelsea Release Statement Confirming Report of Racist Abuse From Home Fans in Dynamo Kiev Win

Chelsea have confirmed a report that one of their players was subjected to racial abuse during the club’s 5-0 win at Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League last 16 second leg.

The Blues won the clash in Ukraine by a five-goal margin, handing them an 8-0 win on aggregate, thanks to a hat-trick from Olivier Giroud and scores from Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

However, as revealed by a ​statement on the club’s official website, the victory was marred by an incident involving the home fans inside the NSC Olympiyskiy on Thursday March 14th.

The club revealed: “We can confirm a report of racist abuse directed at one of our players in the final minutes of the match in Kiev from a small section of home supporters. We wholeheartedly condemn such abhorrent behaviour.

“The matter was reported to the referee at the final whistle and the chairman and club secretary spoke to the UEFA match delegate immediately after the match. We expect UEFA to conduct a fulsome investigation and we will provide full cooperation.”

Of course, this is not the first time ​Chelsea have spoken to UEFA regarding racist allegations in this Europa League campaign, though the previous communications revolved around reported abuse from their own fans during the group stage clash away at Vidi. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi

In that instance, the charges were dropped after insufficient evidence was found by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, despite the club themselves issuing a strongly worded statement condemning the chants at the time. 

Maurizio Sarri’s side are due to take on Slavia Prague in the competition’s quarter finals next month, before a possible semi final against the winners of Benfica vs Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Christian Eriksen ‘Dreams’ of Real Madrid Move as Tottenham Resigned to Summer Transfer

​Christian Eriksen ‘dreams’ of playing for Real Madrid, with Tottenham resigned to losing the Denmark international in the summer, according to a report. 

Having re-appointed Zinedine Zidane as manager following the sacking of Santiago Solari, Real are understood to be planning a spending spree in the upcoming transfer window, with Eriksen thought of as a prime target.

Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

According to the Daily Star Sunday, Spurs are resigned to Eriksen’s departure, with the Danish star’s contract with the club expiring in the summer of 2020, meaning that there is a possibility he could leave on a free transfer next year.

The report adds that due to the 27-year-old’s contract status, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are inclined to selling ​Eriksen this summer and receiving a transfer fee rather than risk losing him for nothing at the end of the following campaign.

Barcelona are also said to be interested in acquiring Eriksen, but the player’s own admiration and long-held interest in ​Madrid means that Los Blancos are currently in pole position to seal his signature.


Earlier this year in January, Pochettino admitted that whilst it would be ‘fantastic’ for Eriksen to commit to the club, the situation was not in the club’s hands.

He said (as quoted by the Daily Express): ” Football is dynamic, Christian Eriksen is so important for ​Tottenham. You would like to have this type of player with you.

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“It’s [a new contract] a negotiation, it will be fantastic if he will commit to the club. It would be fantastic if he commits long term but he has every right to do what he wants.

“He is happy here, he is showing his commitment. Then what is going to happen between him and the club is not only in our hands.”

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