England is going to take on arch-rival Germany in the round of 16 tie in EURO 2020 on Tuesday. This will be the most anticipated knock-out tie of this year’s European Championship. The current FIFA rankings indicate the intensity of the fixture. England is currently sitting in 4th place. Whereas Germany, even with their comparatively weaker form, is only 80 points behind, sitting on the 12th spot. On this great occasion of the international rivalry, Football Monk points out five things to look out for.
History of the Rivalry
The first thing that pops up discussing this rivalry, is obviously the political feud between these nations over the decades. Although, the on-field rivalry between England and Germany is nothing less of an epic. From World Cup final to Frank Lampard’s ghost goal- the rivalry has seen it all!
England and Germany’s first time faced each other in an international friendly back on 10th May 1930. The match ended in a stunning 3-3 encounter. Later on, most notably, these two teams met each other at the final of the 1966 FIFA World Cup. England team edged past the Germans that night with a 4-2 victory, thanks to two extra-time goals from Geoff Hurst.
The infamous ‘Ghost goal’ happened in the Round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Frank Lampard’s volley from the top of the box hit the crossbar and bounced off behind the goal line. Although neither the referee nor the linesman saw it going in, before German goalie Manuel Neuer grabbed the ball. This harsh decision caused major criticisms and as a result FIFA had to implement the goal line technology from the next World Cup.
Five things to look out for:
• Germany has so far surprised the footballing world with their newly implemented 3-4-3 based attacking football. Primarily, it was a decision to give them defensive stability with 3 stoppers, although it turned out to be a lethal attacking set-up. It will be interesting to watch if Joachim Low continues with this formation going into the knock-out stages.
• English team is known for their conservative under the head coach Gareth Southgate. These tactics have worked out well so far as England are yet to concede a goal in EURO 2020. But as the tournament is going forward, England has to face more threatening attacking oppositions.
• The current build-up play of Germany is heavily dependent on their wingbacks. They get the ball in the final third through the flanks and inverted wingers like Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry create chances from thereon. But the English team has many capable side backs in their squad too. Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw are most likely to start because of their current form.
• Harry Kane looked pretty out of form in all the three group stages in the tournament. He seemed to be the slowest one around in the English attacking lineup. On the other hand, Raheem Sterling scored both the match-winning goals in two matches. Southgate must find a way to bring the best out of them together in order to progress further in EURO 2020.
• Mason Mount has become an integral part of the English squad. Although, Gareth Southgate must face a dilemma whether to use him or not in this game. Because of the Covid outbreak, Mount and his Chelsea-mate Ben Chilwell are currently isolated from the rest of the squad. Mount will come out from the isolation on the day before the match.
The individual battles:
- Robin Gosens vs Kyle Walker
Both brilliant wingbacks capable of creating chances up front. Germans will have 3 central-backs compared to England’s 2. So Gosens will enjoy more freedom up front. While Kyle Walker will have to mark him well. With these two fast ballers lining up head to head, it will be a feast for the eyes of a football fan.
- Raheem Sterling vs Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels has previously shown how experience can overshadow the energy of youth. His tackle from behind on Mbappe in the penalty box was one of the highlights of that match. Hummels has to face similar threats against England as well. Winger Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden can cause much trouble with their pace and fineness.
With Sterling’s current goal-scoring run, he will probably be the game changer in this tie. Hummels has to put out every bit of his experience and work rate in order to keep him silent throughout the whole match.
The recent form and ideology of the respective coaches indicate England will continue their conservative approach in the match. While Germany will go all guns blazing at them. In most of the match, it will be a battle between Germany’s creativity and England’s persistence. Although England can hurt them on quick transitions. All in all, it will be a battle of titans at Wembley.