Germany and Argentina meet for the first time in five years on Wednesday night and it’s fair to say that both teams have fallen from grace since they met in the World Cup final.
The two nations were ranked number one and two in the world when they last faced off in a friendly in September 2014, but now find themselves in 10th (Argentina) and 16th (Germany) in the latest world rankings.
But here’s 3 best bets to see who has bragging rights after Wednesday night’s friendly.
Neither side made it past the second round at World Cup 2018 and Germany were relegated from the Nation’s League, while Argentina stumbled to a Copa America semi-final this summer.
However, Germany’s have had a serious makeover and there have been green shoots of recovery this year.
Their youthful exuberance should prevail over a Messi-less Argentina.
The Germans have looked formidable in Euro 2020 qualifying and were involved in two hugely entertaining games with an improving Netherlands side. They should have too much for the Argentines.
Verdict: Germany (-1) @ 21/10
Argentina may be ranked six places higher than their German opponents, but Germany have dominated this fixture recently. Ever since Argentina beat Germany in the World Cup final in 1986, the Germans have exacted revenge by beating Argentina in two World Cup finals and two World Cup quarter-finals.
The visitors have been insipid this year and were ultimately easily brushed aside by both Brazil and Chile in the Copa America during the summer.
That they still managed to make the last four of the tournament highlights the shortcomings of the South American competition, rather than any great achievement from the Argentinians.
Their home defeat to Holland aside, Germany have been almost flawless in 2019. Even then the defeat to Holland came after 22 minutes of madness when they let in four goals and threw away a lead.
Die Mannschaft have been playing far better football this calendar year and should put the foot down on their long-term rivals.
Verdict: Germany half-time/full-time @ 17/10
Both sides are more than capable of finding the back of the net with regularity, but both Germany and Argentina have found it rather difficult keeping them out.
Germany have shipped a glut of goals against any of the big teams they’ve come up against in the last 18 months, conceding 11 times in four games against the Netherlands and conceding four in their World Cup group elimination.
Argentina, meanwhile, leaked goals at the Copa America, conceding twice against both Brazil and Chile as well as conceding to lowly Paraguay.
Clean sheets against the mighty Qatar and Venezuela did little to convince pundits that Argentina are anyway competent at the back.
The fact that Wednesday’s match is a friendly could enhance both side’s defensive frailties as both will no doubt look to play an expansive game because what is the point of being conservative.
It should mean good things for the neutral.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals @ 8/11
*Prices correct at time of publishing