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With Cristiano Ronaldo looking set to start and Die Mannschaft going through a minor defensive crisis, Al Hain-Cole expects both teams to go for the jugular in a high-scoring game

A mouth-watering World Cup showdown takes place in Salvador on Monday, as Germany take on Portugal in Group F’s clash of the titans.

After winning nine and drawing one of their 10 qualification matches on the road to Brazil, Joachim Low’s men are 23/20 (2.15) favourites with Paddy Power to justify the hype by recording a big opening win.

A Selecao, on the other hand, only qualified for the tournament via the play-offs and are 11/4 (3.75) underdogs to cause an upset here.

There have been no draws in any of the last four competitive meetings between these sides, but you can get odds of 9/4 (3.25) on them sharing the spoils at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova.

Having suffered defeats against these opponents at three of the last four major tournaments, Paulo Bento’s team must have breathed a sigh of resignation when the draw was made for this year’s group stages.

However, their chances of meting out some sort of revenge would be vastly improved by the presence of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who is hoping to start on Monday despite his recent injury problems.

The Real Madrid man missed two of the warm-up matches but returned to help his country to a 5-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the final friendly, an ominous sign for a German team going through a minor defensive crisis.

With first choice left-back Marcel Schmelzer ruled out through injury and regular right-back Philipp Lahm potentially needed in midfield due to fitness concerns surrounding Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Die Mannschaft may line up with an unfamiliar defence made up of four centre-backs.

Considering their impressive frontline struck six goals in their final warm-up match, Low’s team may therefore decide that attack is the best form of defence against a team that have put five past both Cameroon and Ireland in recent fixtures.

With an entertaining match surely on the cards, odds of 6/5 (2.20) seem extremely generous on over 2.5 goals being scored, in a bet that would have paid out in three of Portugal’s last four and a convincing 35 of Germany’s last 42.

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Over 2.5 goals for a 2pt stake at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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