England vs Germany, by far the standout fixture (on paper) from the Round of 16. 55 years have passed since England’s only major success on the international stage. A historic 4-2 defeat of West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley remains the pinnacle of achievements for the country that created the sport.
While the images of Bobby Moore lifting the trophy high into the sky, sit on the minds of all Englishmen, the Germans have certainly made up for this defeat since. Germany (since Unified) have been involved in every major tournament since this day and continue to make amends for their defeat in our national stadium.
England vs Germany has been drawn together in knockout rounds of either the World Cup or Euros on four occasions since 1966. Germany have won all 4, often by the tiniest of margins but on every occasion adding to the pain and anguish of every England supporter on the global stage. As former England player, pundit and crisp expert Gary Linekar once said:
“Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.”
For England fans, the resentment will always remain, and Germany are widely considered our biggest rivals on this stage. Over in Berlin, however, the feeling isn’t quite as mutual. German fans care about the rivalry, but not to the same level – let’s face it, when you’re regularly competing at the highest level you don’t really need to worry about England vs Germany. Former German international and Liverpool player was quoted this week in The Telegraph as saying:
“I would never describe England as Germany’s biggest rivals, our big rivals have always been seen as the most likely to challenge us.”
Well, that one stings. It must be said though, where Germany are normally the expected victors against England, things are very different in 2021. After some shocking performances over the last few years, this German team is not the major threat it used to be and not only do England go into this match as favourites, they are one of the clear favourites to win the tournament as a whole. Especially after some of the huge results over the last few days.
It’s Coming Home?
Doubt and anxiety however remain, and England fans continue to question the capabilities of a Gareth Southgate led team (incredibly harsh considering his success so far, if you ask me). As with all major events on the sporting calendar, we continue our new series by looking at what you, the fans, have to say. We’ve spoken to five England fans and noted their predictions for the starting 11 tonight and the score. While largely consistent across the backline, there are some surprises in these Starting 11’s. Here is what they had to say about the latest England vs Germany fixture:
Matty from Formby – Liverpool & England Fan
Matty’s View: “Front 3- tough choice. Despite poor form, you have to stick with Kane. Sterling must play as he’s the only player looking likely to score. So now it’s picking the final player. I’d go Kane, Sterling, Foden. Allows both Foden and Grealish to play then.
Final Score Prediction: England 1 – 1 Germany (Germany win 2-1 AET)
Jon from Cheshire – Chelsea & England Fan
Jon’s View: “I think there’s been a lot of noise around Kane’s group stage performances, if there’s one game that we need him to step up, this is it. Sterling is the only player to score for us so he more than earns to keep his spot in the squad, with Foden on the other side, I’d rather keep Grealish as a super sub. Mason Mount in attacking midfield for his dangerous balls into the box, with Philips and Rice behind him to try and counter some of Germany’s pressing play.
Back 4 exactly the same as against the Czech Republic as we looked solid, with Pickford keeping his spot in net after a few really decent performances.
I know Germany have goals in them but I think we’re that tight defensively that they won’t breakthrough. We’ll nick a goal back, Harry Kane to score his first of the tournament!”
Final Score Prediction: England 1 – 0 Germany
Steven from Runcorn – Liverpool & England Fan
Steven’s View: “Pickford in goal because he’s been arguably the best keeper at the tournament so far, having kept 3 clean sheets.
A back 3/5 whichever way you slice it just to match Germany up. They’ve played with a 343 in the opening games and I think we can do it better. Walker on the right of a 3 to compensate for Gnabry’s pace, he and Reece James will have their hands full on that side with Gosens also joining the attack. Maguire comes back in after a fine performance against the Czech Republic, Stones has been solid so far too so keeps his place.
Trippier on the left because Havertz is left-footed but he also offers set-piece quality if/when we need it. Reece James gets in there as he’ll be rested having missed the Czech game and he’s also got the pace to counter with on that right-hand side. Rice has been fine so far and Henderson was decent once he came on in the previous game. I think Phillips has had a mixed bag so far but Henderson’s experience in big games especially against opposition like this will be massive for our midfield against the two veterans Kroos and Gundogan.
The front 3 are the most difficult to chose bar Kane. As poor as he’s been so far you can’t write off the captain, when you require a goal from nothing he’s your man. Foden has looked lively so far and the fact Southgate removed him from the squad entirely against the Czech Republic to avoid suspension means he will probably start this game. The final spot has to go to Jack Grealish, the man does not lose the ball and always looks busy going forward, England need more players with the courage that he has if we’re to stand any chance against the big sides.”
Final Score Prediction: England 1 – 0 Germany (“Kane goal before 10 mins have passed with England to see out a nervy 80 odd minutes”)
Stephen from Bristol – Bristol Rovers and England Fan
Stephen’s View: “Goalkeeper – Pickford has been brilliant so far and his distribution as a goalkeeper is probably the best in the world. Turns defence into attack very fast.
Defence – Go for our big game players. Walker and Shaw will secure the flanks but will provide support going forward where necessary. Maguire and Stones have been suspect in a back 2 before but I think going for a back 3 is too negative and disruptive when we haven’t conceded a goal so far. Maguire lacks pace but plays positive balls forward through the defensive lines into Kane.
Midfield – There is no reason to change Rice & Phillips – Hendo is a good player to bring on if we need to settle things down. Bring Mount back in as he’s more defensive than others
Forwards – Bring in Sancho. Knows the Germans well and will be another twist from Southgate.
Hopefully, last night is far less stressful than yesterdays matches!”
Final Score Prediction: England 2 – 1 Germany
David from Wigan – Liverpool and England Fan
David’s View: “After watching Germany’s last performance in the group it is clear they are vulnerable on the counter-attack. With this team, it would provide plenty of pace especially coming down either flank with the fullbacks and wingers.
I’ve opted to drop Kane, I’m not questioning Kane’s ability; he is a world-class striker however his performances as of late haven’t been up to the standard. The lack of runs and the constant need for the ball to be played into his feet won’t suit England. Especially coming up against this German outfit. This makes the choice, Rashford; a young, pacey, hungry player who can and will make the runs that Kane won’t.
With this formation, a lot of the attack will be coming from the wings. I have Grealish sitting behind the front line as a CAM to provide the creativity we have clearly lacked. This has been evident as when he has played, he has been one of the few standout players.
I have elected to have both Kalvin Phillips and Henderson as CDM’s to control the midfield; Henderson’s experience and leadership will prove vitally important to what is such a young squad around him. Hopefully, the influence his leadership has on the Liverpool team is able to shine against Germany with England.”
Final Score Prediction: England 2 – 2 Germany (England win 3-2 AET)
What do you think?
So those are our Fan Views for the England vs Germany game this evening at the EUROs. How do you think they did? Let us know on socials @welovesportuk using the hashtag #FansView.
If you want to take part in future Fans View articles then contact us either via Facebook and Twitter or to our new Fans View inbox here.
Our We Love Sport app is also the destination for all your pub sport. Check the latest fixtures, book your seat at the biggest games and access exclusive Xtra Time offers throughout the EUROs. The We Love Sport app is available for download from the Apple App Store here and Google Play store here.