Will the Ice Comrades fail again in the quarter-finals?
The relegations have been decided at the 2023 Ice Hockey World Cup in Finland and Latvia. The question of who will be the new world champion will only be answered on Sunday. Fortunately, two German-speaking teams are still in the title race. Unfortunately, one of them will have to say goodbye after the direct duel in the quarter-finals. If we are to believe the odds, then the tip between Germany and Switzerland should go to a victory for the Alpine republic.
However, the best eight teams of the tournament are still competing and we believe that all eight can even become world champions. The top teams in ice hockey have become extremely close in recent years. Before the match between Germany and Switzerland, we wouldn’t get carried away with a prediction about the upcoming world champion.
The Ice Comrades have won against Canada and the Czech Republic in the group phase and were almost the top favourites for the World Cup title. After the defeat in the last group game against Latvia, the Nati have now been downgraded to secret favourites again. However, they have become sovereign group winners and that alone shows how dangerous Patrick Fischer’s team is.
Germany made it into the playoffs in fourth place. What was impressive, however, was that they didn’t let themselves be impressed by the three opening defeats and were fully on their game in the decisive games, crowning the comeback in the end. Harold Kreis and his team will therefore travel to Latvia full of self-confidence.
Germany – Statistics & current form
The German team did exactly what was expected of them at this World Cup and got the points that were basically planned. In the three narrow defeats that Harold Kreis’s team suffered in the tough opening programme of the World Cup, there was always more in it. If they had scored there, even third or second place would have been possible.
Broad chest after four victories in a row
Overall, it was not only the defeats against Sweden, the USA and Finland that were encouraging, but above all the good performance in the last four games with two very clear victories against Hungary and France. With four wins in a row, they don’t have to hide from the Ice Comrades either and from there we can imagine that between Germany and Switzerland, the odds in the Bwin App are on a win for the German selection.
27 goals in seven games is outstanding value. Nico Sturm and JJ Peterka have excelled in scoring, but a big plus for the German team is the balance of all four attacking lines. Therefore, we also expect the DEB men to score against Switzerland and possibly more than 5.5 goals in total.
Against France, it was not enough for over-goals, but the Germans managed a clean sweep. The French were beaten 5-0 and if they can be as efficient offensively and remain solid defensively in the quarter-finals on Thursday, then their journey need not be over and perhaps Germany will return to Tampere for the semi-finals after just one match in Riga.
The Germany squad:
Goal: Franzreb, Niederberger, Strahlmeier
Defensive: Gawanke, Hüttl, J. Müller, M. Müller, Seider, Szuber, Wagner, Wissmann
Attack: Ehl, Fischbuch, Kahun, Kastner, Noebels, Peterka, Schütz, Soramies, Stachowiak, Sturm, Tiffels, Tuomie, Varejcka, Wiederer
Head Coach: Kreis
Switzerland – Statistics & current form
The euphoria in Switzerland is extremely high in connection with this World Cup. The media are demanding nothing less than the first World Cup title for their Nati. In the preliminary round, the Ice Comrades have certainly performed outstandingly and are the best team in the group phase after the United States. If Patrick Fischer’s team manages to maintain this form, then World Championship gold does not seem utopian at all.
First defeat in the preliminary round after 16 victories
In their first games, the Swiss have once again roared through the group stage. Six wins in a row have made their early entry into the quarter-finals perfect. In total, the Nati have now won 16 of the last 17 group matches at World Cups. In the quarter-finals, however, the Ice Comrades have major problems. At the last three World Cup tournaments and at the Olympics in Beijing, they were eliminated in the round of the last eight.
After a flawless preliminary round so far, the Swiss were defeated by Latvia in their last group game. Overall, Switzerland dominated the game, but they could not prevent the lead from constantly changing. At the end of regulation time, the score was 3:3, before the ice comrades suffered sudden death in the overtime. This match showed that the Alpine republic is vulnerable and therefore a prediction of a German advancement is certainly conceivable between Germany and Switzerland.
Against Germany, the Swiss will now be able to play with almost their best line-up again. Against Latvia, Patrick Fischer allowed himself a rotation and spared the three key players Nino Niederreiter, Denis Malgin and Nico Hischier. Good for him who can afford to leave three players from the NHL out of the squad. On Thursday in the quarter-finals, however, all three will be back in the game. Missing, however, will be Calvin Thürkauf, who is out with a shoulder injury.
The Switzerland squad:
Goal: Mayer, van Pottelberghe, Genoni
Defensive: Kukan, Geisser, Glauser, Fora, Marti, Loeffel, Moser, Siegenthaler
Attack: Riat, Ambühl, Senteler, Hischier, Fiala, Niederreiter, Simion, Malgin, Herzog, Corvi, Richard, Thürkauf, Bertschy, Haas, Miranda
Head Coach: Fischer
Germany – Switzerland Direct Comparison / H2H Balance
The neighbourly duel between Germany and Switzerland is a perennial favourite not only in ice hockey. Since the 1991 World Cup, the two national teams have faced each other in 50 matches. In the direct comparison, the Swiss are ahead with 26:22 victories. Twice there has been a draw. Last year, the two teams met in the group phase of the World Cup and fought together for the group victory.
After a penalty shootout win, the Swiss advanced to the quarter-finals as group winners. Speaking of quarter-finals. The last two times Germany and Switzerland met in this round, the Ice Comrades were favoured in each case. However, the Germans prevailed at both the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2021 World Cup.
Germany – Switzerland Tip
It is a great pity that we have to say goodbye to Germany or Switzerland after this quarter-final. If we believe the quotes at bookmaker Bet365, then the German team will go home. However, they have recently won four in a row and also performed very well against three World Cup favourites.
One disadvantage for Harold Kreis’ team is that they have to travel from Tampere to Riga. But the way from Finland to the Baltic States is not too long. Without any ifs and buts, the DEB men played a strong preliminary round, which, however, was clearly topped by the Swiss. 19 points from seven group games is a very strong result and yet we can imagine that between Germany and Switzerland you can be right with a bet on a German progress.
A big advantage of the German team is certainly that they have won the last two quarter-final duels against the Ice Comrades and that the Nati have lost all of the last four quarter-finals at major tournaments. Perhaps this matter is turning into a headache for the Swiss team. In any case, we take this statistic as an opportunity to play the betting odds between Germany and Switzerland on the German team reaching the semi-finals.