Forever rivals both on and off of the pitch will do battle when Germany takes on England in the round of 16. Both sides have produced amazing matches in previous years, and expect yet another one this time around in South Africa. Despite the uncertainties of this tournament thus far, one thing that will be for certain, is a very good team will be sent home far too early for their liking.
Always in the spotlight, Team England got off to a disastrous start in South Africa. They struggled mightily to qualify, and had to go down to the final minute of their match against Slovenia to know whether or not they would progress onto the knockout stage of the tournament. Finishing second in Group B has already proved costly as it forces a vulnerable English side against a formidable foe in Germany.
After commencing the tournament with aplomb, Germany will now be dealt with a tough round of 16 fixture against England. They opened with a 4-0 thrashing of Australia, yet followed that up with inconsistent performances against Serbia and Ghana. Like England, they were uncertain as to whether or not they’d advance in South Africa, but a narrow win against a tough side from Ghana, vaulted them to the top of Group D. Unfortunately for the Germans, them winning their group pits them against their old rivals England, in what has to be a less than appealing fixture for both teams involved.
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Germany vs England Odds:
Germany Advances (-103)
England Advances (-117)
Keys to the Game:
The predominate German concern heading into the match pertains to star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. At the moment the star midfielder is battling a thigh muscle problem, and he is highly doubtful to start the match for the Germans. His health is a key concern, as Schweinsteiger is the main facilitator in the midfield for Germany. He is an explosive player, and oozes creativity and skill. If he cannot go, look for the English to dominate the midfield in his absence.
The Germans will again line up in their traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, with Miroslav Klose returning from suspension to star as the lone target man up front. For German success, Klose will need to maintain his composure and not accumulate silly yellow cards for overzealous challenges. He must worry about scoring goals, opposed to defending them. Another player who could pose a threat to the Three Lions of England will be midfield playmaker, Mesut Oezil. Oezil, who plies his trade for Werder Bremen of the Bundesliga, has been somewhat of a revelation in South Africa, as he has been dynamic in all three German matches. He will be playing with a heavy heart however, as his grandmother has recently passed away. Oezil has vowed to have a splendid game for Germany in her honor.
England meanwhile have yet to turn in a stellar performance in South Africa. Seemingly every match they’ve had to endure a myriad of problems, and have looked incredulously vulnerable against some of the weaker sides in this competition. A stunning tie against Algeria, was followed up with a very unnerving performance against a lowly Slovenian side. They have yet to play a team with even half the quality that the Germans possess, and if the Three Lions fail to rise to the occasion, they could be in for a humiliating demise.
England should be boosted by the return of Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher to the starting eleven. He missed the crucial match against Slovenia due to suspension, and will be expected to slot into the centre-back role, replacing Matthew Upson. Ledley King will likely still be resigned to bench duties as a result of his injury.
Although Wayne Rooney is struggling mightily in this tournament, coach Fabio Capello isn’t about to start him on the bench. Expect Rooney to be joined up front by clutch goal-scorer Jermaine Defoe. Rooney remains a huge factor in this knockout match against the Germans. If he can revert to the form he displayed throughout the previous Premier League season, he could potentially reek havoc on a German defense that have given up their fair share of chances in South Africa. The Manchester United striker remains one of the dominant goal-scorers in the world, and if his pace, and strength is up to par, it could vault the Three Lions into the quarter-finals.
What to Expect:
It will be tough for England to overcome their plethora of injury and fitness concerns entering this match. A lot of players have been forced to fulfill duties they’re not accustomed to, and receive playing time they weren’t initially expecting. Add to that the sheer vulnerability surrounding the side right now, and a tough German opponent, this game could end in disaster. Luckily for the Three Lions, the Germans have their own problems. Injury concerns to Schweinsteiger, and poor defensive habits of late, could be exploited by the likes of Wayne Rooney and Jermanie Defoe.
Whenever these two teams meet, the matches almost always result in instant classics. Expect this occurrence to be no different. Although both squads enter the fixture with glaring issues, expect an offensive onslaught from two teams that love to attack. The English midfield duo of Gerard and Lampard must outplay their counterparts of Oezil, the injured Schweinsteiger, and Lukas Podolski. Unfortunately for supporters of England, they both have shown little evidence to suggest that they’ll emerge from their slumps. Expect this match to be a wide-open, back-and-forth affair, which will ultimately crown Germany as the victors in a thrilling extra-time battle.
Germany vs England Prediction: Germany 3 – England 2 (A.E.T.)
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