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Preview: Iceland vs. Germany - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Iceland vs. Germany - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Iceland and Germany, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hansi Flick will look to continue his perfect start to life as Germany manager on Wednesday, when they travel to take on Iceland in the final game of this round of World Cup Qualifying fixtures.

The two nations met in the opening game of this qualification campaign, with Wednesday's visitors picking up a 3-0 victory, and they have largely dominated the group throughout.

Match preview

Iceland were given a tough start to the World Cup Qualifying campaign, making the trip to take on Germany in the opening match, and they were comfortably defeated 3-0.

They were then handed another loss when they travelled to Armenia, as Tigran Barseghyan and Khoren Bayramyan got on the scoresheet for the hosts.

Arnar Vidarsson's side finished the opening round of fixtures with their first points, as Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Victor Palsson and Runar Mar Sigurjonsson found the net in a dominant 4-1 away victory over Liechtenstein.

Despite a restful summer, having failed to qualify for Euro 2020, Strakarnir okkar were unable to build on that win when they returned to competitive action for this round of games, as they were handed a 2-0 defeat by Romania on home turf.

Iceland did show resilience to earn a point last time out though, overcoming a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with North Macedonia, as Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason pulled a goal back with 12 minutes to go before Andri Gudjohnsen drew them level six minutes from time.

Vidarsson's men will now look to keep their slim qualification hopes alive with a victory, but they face a particularly tough task against a German side who thrashed them 3-0 in March.

Leon Goretzka, Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan got on the scoresheet as Germany thrashed Iceland on home turf in their opening game, before they established themselves at the top of the group with a 1-0 victory over Romania.

The Nationalelf then suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at home to North Macedonia in the third qualifying game, before they headed into Euro 2020.

In Joachim Low's final run as manager, Die Mannschaft reached the round of 16 at this summer's European Championships, but were dumped out by rivals England as Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane found the net in a 2-0 win for the eventual finalists.

The conclusion of that tournament saw Low finally depart after 15 years at the helm, having collected a World Cup title in 2014, and he has been replaced by former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick, who seems to have taken well to the change.

He began with a 2-0 away victory over Liechtenstein, as Timo Werner and Leroy Sane netted goals, before Die Mannschaft thrashed Armenia 6-0 last time out.

Serge Gnabry put them two goals ahead inside the first 15 minutes, and Marco Reus and Werner made it four in the lead up to half time, before Jonas Hofmann and Karim Adeyemi capped off an impressive day at the office with second-half goals.

Now facing a slightly tougher test, Flick will hope to see his side continue their improvement with a victory that would see them maintain a grip on top spot in group J.

Iceland World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Iceland form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D

Germany World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Germany form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Iceland tend to only make limited changes between games, as Vidarsson largely trusts the experienced core of players that reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

They have been forced into a change in recent games though, as captain Aron Gunnarsson is not involved in the latest squad, with Birkir Bjarnason, Andri Baldursson and Isak Bergmann Johannesson forming a strong midfield unit in his absence.

Young centre-back Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason could keep his place alongside experienced defender Kari Arnason at the heart of a back four, having impressed in his first five appearances for the national team.

Andri Gudjohnsen will be pushing for a starting spot after he came off the bench to net a late equaliser last time out, while Burnley winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson offers additional threat from the left-hand side.

Only four Germany players have started in both of Hansi Flick's first two games as manager, with Timo Werner, Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich and Thilo Kehrer given the nod on both occasions, while the manager has experimented with the rest of his team.

He brought in four additional players that he managed at Bayern Munich for the clash with Armenia, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, centre-back Niklas Sule, midfielder Leon Goretzka and winger Serge Gnabry all expected to keep their places going forward.

Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger also came into the starting XI last time out, and he should star at the back after winning the Champions League with the Blues last season.

Iceland possible starting lineup:
Runarsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, Ingi Bjarnason, Thorarinsson; Anderson, Bjarnason, Baldursson, Bergmann, Gudmundsson; Gudjohnsen

Germany possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Hofmann, Sule, Rudiger, Kehrer; Goretzka, Kimmich; Gnabry, Reus, Musiala; Werner

We say: Iceland 0-3 Germany

Flick has an abundance of quality options all over the pitch in this Germany side, and we see them continuing to build momentum under the new boss with another convincing victory on Wednesday.

Die Mannschaft have looked strong at both ends since their departure from Euro 2020, and with every player keen to impress and earn the favour of the new manager, we expect another eye-catching team showing.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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