Let’s not beat about the bush here: punters can get odds of 1/2 on the reigning world champions to beat a team that typically flatters to deceive on the world stage. It is a simply unmissable opportunity.
Ignore friendlies; they are ultimately insignificant in the grand scheme of things as managers try new players, formations and ideas ahead of the tournament.
Instead, let’s focus on competitive fixtures only, in which Germany have won 14 of their 15 games played since losing in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
That tells you all you need to know about Joachim Low’s side, who, it’s fair to say, turn up when it really matters.
What do we know about Mexico? They are certainly capable, and a record of seven consecutive appearances in the World Cup last 16 shows that they enjoy the group stage format.
But for context, at 6/1 to win this game they are only two points longer than Iceland are to defeat Croatia, and that seems like madness to anyone with an appreciation of how betting odds work.
Germany Team News
The big news for Germany is that Manuel Neuer is fit and raring to go between the sticks. He barely played a minute for Bayern Munich last season due to injury, but having appeared in both of his country’s warm-up friendlies he looks ready to take the gloves.
In front of him will be a stellar back four. Joshua Kimmich is an outstanding talent at right back, and Jonas Hector is a perfectly serviceable option on the left. In the middle, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng will take some beating.
In midfield, you will note the dictionary definition of a luxury of riches. Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan can all play in the deeper role, while take your pick from Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Julian Draxler, Mesut Ozil and Julian Brandt in the more advanced positions.
Germany have rarely been blessed with a decent centre forward since the days of Miroslav Klose, but this year they have the excellent young talent, Timo Werner, to call upon. He has been fairly prolific for RB Leipzig in recent times, and with that midfield supplying the ammo you can’t really fail.
Mexico Team News
You may recall the fine performances of Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa at World Cup 2014, and he is still the first choice custodian for his side.
Carlos Salcedo and Jesus Gallardo will slot in at full back, while Hugo Ayala and Hector Moreno will likely start in the middle.
Mexico’s normal 4-2-3-1 system means they will go man-to-man with Germany, which could spell trouble. Former Watford man Miguel Layun and Hector Herrera may be charged with protecting their defence, while an attracting trio of Juan Cuadrado, Hirving Lozano and Giovani dos Santos could dazzle with their pace and trickery.
Up front, it’s a straight choice between West Ham’s Javier Hernandez and Raul Jimenez, who has just joined Wolves on loan from Benfica.
Germany vs Mexico: The Verdict
As you may have already deduced, we have a strong feeling for Germany in this one.
They will overload down the flanks, with Kimmich-Muller right and Hector-Draxler left. You wonder if Mexico will be able to cope with that, and if the Germans can get round the back – to steal John Barnes’ famous rap line – then there will be a number of options to pull the ball back to.
Mexico will be compact and disciplined in defence, but as Egypt found to their cost against Uruguay it is hard to defend with eleven behind the ball and not lose concentration at some point within the 90 minutes.
If the Germans can score early it will change the complexion of this game completely, with the Central Americans having to come out of their shell a bit more. With gaps appearing, that could be curtains for Mexico.
How can they get something from this game? It will be very difficult, and actually it is hard to come up with a rational strategy for them to claim all three points.
So the message is simple: back Germany to win this game. You won’t place many better bets than that this World Cup.