UEFA EURO 2020 PREVIEW: ENGLAND VS GERMANY, THE LATEST CHAPTER IN AN OLD 'RIVALRY'
Knockout games are the most fascinating aspect of any sporting event and while the preparation is no less than a festival, the games turn out to be much more than just a match with all that’s on the line. Euro 2020 has been a fantastic tournament so far and the Round of 16 matches are expected to be even more captivating with the best European sides preparing to battle it out and bring glory to their nation. The most sought-after fixture of the week to be played on Tuesday between England and Germany at the fabled Wembley Stadium in London is going to be no different.
— England (@England) June 23, 2021
The English side found their way to the knockouts by finishing first, unbeaten in the evenly poised Group D despite some underwhelming performances. Raheem Sterling’s goals against Croatia and the Czech Republic made the difference for England as they could only manage a goalless draw against the noisy neighbours Scotland.
The team conceded zero goals throughout the group stage and nothing boosts the confidence of any team in the world more than keeping a clean sheet. With all the criticism for his squad selection and some unusual absentees from the lineups, Gareth Southgate has had his way so far.
Back to it at SGP 👊
— England (@England) June 24, 2021
A win against Germany will solidify England’s bid to bring the trophy home and prove the doubters wrong, but the path only goes uphill.
Germany found their way into the knockouts from what was tipped to be the most difficult group, and they did it by finishing second. A well-fought loss to France followed by a big win against Portugal and a comeback against Hungary to secure the most important point of all kept them in the safe zone.
Germany looks revived and filled with enthusiasm after a shocking title defence at the 2018 World Cup. Joachim Loew is managing his last tournament with the national side and would want to make the most of it before handing it over to Hansi Flick.
⏪🏴🆚🇩🇪 Germany beat England on penalties #OTD at EURO 96! 😱
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 26, 2021
The elimination scare against Hungary would have made some impact on the team and winning against one of the most talented sides in the tournament will be a great morale booster for Die Mannschaft.
The winner of this tie will face the winner of Sweden vs Ukraine in the quarter-final.
England boss Gareth Southgate has a problem every manager would love to have, a fully fit squad with loads of talented players to choose from. World-class players like Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford haven’t got sufficient playing time yet and might still not play considering the earlier combinations gave the required results.
More to come. 👊
— England (@England) June 23, 2021
England has played in a classic 4-2-3-1 formation with goalless Harry Kane up top and Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in a midfield pivot protecting the backline.
England Probable Lineup: Pickford; Shaw, Maguire, Stones, Walker; Rice; Phillips; Sterling, Grealish, Sancho; Kane
Germany missed out on Leon Goretzka for the opening fixture but he has recovered and came on as an impact substitute against Hungary. There aren’t any injuries or suspensions for Jogi Loew’s side now and they will deploy a full-strength lineup.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 25, 2021
The midfield duo of Kroos and Gundogan hasn’t been able to provide the defensive cover that Loew would have needed and the team conceded 5 goals in the three group games. Goretzka might start ahead of Gundogan in the Round of 16 tie in a 3-4-3 formation with two wingbacks surging forward at every opportunity.
Germany’s Probable Lineup: Neuer; Rudiger, Hummels, Ginter; Gosens, Kroos, Goretzka, Kimmich; Havertz, Gnabry, Muller
The Three Lions have kept three out of three clean sheets in the group stage and major credit goes to the dynamic midfield duo of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. Phillips also provided the winning assist against Croatia and has performed well overall in the three games. The two have made a combined 19 ball recoveries and ran a whopping 60kms in the three games played so far.
All smiles into the last 16 😄🏴 pic.twitter.com/ObbU9stcnT
— Kalvin Phillips (@Kalvinphillips) June 23, 2021
They will be put up to a difficult task containing the German engine Toni Kroos from supplying while also marking Thomas Muller who is known for coming up short and finding pockets of spaces in the attacking midfield zone.
Germany’s star of the group stage has been the 22-year old Champions League winner Kai Havertz who made many impactful runs in the six-yard box and scored two significant goals in the group stage. His stinging sprints forced two own goals on Portugal that helped Germany get the important group stage win.
We continue to fight on, with another big game next week! pic.twitter.com/HNsg20oDlP
— Kai Havertz (@kaihavertz29) June 19, 2021
His challenge will be to break England’s defence that is yet to concede a goal in the tournament and seal the win for his side.
Germany has shown great attacking instincts and pressed the opponent efficiently every time they lost the ball, doing the same against England might break down the home side and get the result in their favour. England has one of the most talented squads and proper utilisation of it can help them nullify the relentless German press. But Harry Kane’s silence in the tournament is a source of major worry for the Three Lions and needs to be resolved if England are to get a win.
FootTheBall predicts a close match tipping in the favour of the Germans, 2-1.