Euro 2020 – England vs Germany
Round of Last 16 – Wembley Stadium, London
England topped Group D, which gives them another home advantage here in the knockout stages. They’ve played every game at Wembley so far, which seems to have helped them as they came through their group with two wins and one draw. Both wins were 1-0, while their draw ended 0-0, so there are improvements to be made if this England team are to go the distance at this tournament. The worry now for England will be their record in knockout games, which isn’t great. They’ve won only one knockout game in 53 years and that has to improve quickly because if they get through Germany, they have a real chance of reaching a final, which again, will be played in London. Defensively they’ll be confident at not having conceded a goal yet, but there are still going to be times in this game where they’re under pressure and have to cope. Going forward, they have to be much better in the final third as they’ve been far too wasteful so far, while not really getting striker Harry Kane into the games at all. He’s normally a huge player for England in tournaments, but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened, and it could be down to how players like Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden play for their clubs. There are contrasting styles for certain players, and they have to learn how to play better together, but the team is capable of that and they have the quality that is capable of beating Germany here, who have leaked goals during their Euros so far. It’s a young England side, but every player has a lot of experience playing in the Premier League or Bundesliga every week. It’ll be a close game and one that could even come down to extra time or penalties.
Germany finished second in Group F which consisted of France, Portugal and Hungary. They started their campaign against current World Champions France, and they were unlucky to come away with the loss after a great second half performance. Portugal were next, and that is where Germany were clinical going forward. Defensively they have to sharpen up, but beating Portugal 4-2 was a great result for the team and the confidence of the squad. They scraped a 2-2 draw with Hungary in their final group game after Leon Goretzka’s late goal sent them through. That goal should boost the side as they travel to London to play England, and they’ll welcome it. England haven’t been the best so far, and Germany play at a much quicker tempo so they’ll look to dictate the pace of the game while chances will be created. Pace down each wing and through the middle is what Germany have at their disposal and they use it well, which could overwhelm England at times. Although they will come under pressure defensively with the quality that England do have going forward, it could be on the transition that this side shines as they’ll look to quickly counter attack and hurt England. Both sides have the quality that will match one another, but Germany are far more aggressive than England and that could work in their favour here. The crowd could play a big part if England start on top, but if Germany controls the game early on, the crowd could quickly turn. It’s a game that could go either way and it could come down to a bit of magic from a single player.
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