Germany v Ukraine: Expect fast start from World Cup holders

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Three defeats in their five friendlies since the conclusion of Euro 2016 qualifying have resulted in some concern as to whether the reigning world champions can make it back-to-back major-tournament successes.

A 2-0 win over Hungary in their final friendly increased optimism slightly around Germany and they are now a potentially lucrative 9/2 to win Euro 2016.

Up first for Joachim Loew’s men in Group C are Ukraine, who out of all of the teams at Euro 2016 spent the most time in losing positions during the qualifying stage. They were behind for a total of 289 minutes.

And it’s highly likely this trend will continue against Germany, given the knack the favourites have of making fast starts.

In the last four matches in which the Germans have scored, they have broken the deadlock before half time. Meanwhile, in 27 competitive matches since the end of Euro 2012, the aggregate score after 45 minutes of a Germany showdown is 36-5 in their favour.

As for Ukraine, in the last four matches in which they have conceded, their opposition have added themselves to the scoresheet inside the opening 23 minutes.

This bodes well for a high scoring opening period and 21/10 looks solid value that the first half produces the most goals in Lille.

Other factors worth considering are that Germany took 199 shots during qualifying, which was more than anyone else, and that they are expected to depleted in defence, with Mats Hummels only recently back in light training after injury. The consensus is that he will sit this one out.

The German rearguard has been far from watertight lately, with the Hungary clean sheet their first in nine games since taking on qualifying whipping boys Gibraltar.

Therefore, both teams to score is worthy of some betting attention at 10/11, it is the same odds for over 2.5 goals in the match and Germany winning a match in which neither side keep a clean sheet also catches the eye at 13/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.