Euro 2020 round of 16: England vs. Germany preview, predictions and starting XIs
After his penalty miss in 1996 can Gareth Southgate get redemption at Wembley?
The last time Germany played a European Championship knockout match at the home of English football they lifted the trophy in 1996. This came after they had beaten the Three Lions, on penalties of course, in the semi-finals.
That night Gareth Southgate had the misfortune of seeing his spot-kick saved in the shoot-out. On Tuesday the England head coach will have his chance of redemption. “A final exorcism of those ghosts is overdue”, The Telegraph says.
Fans will still have sympathy for Southgate the player, but as a manager the “jury is still out on whether he has the experience and tactical nous to win England a major trophy”, says the Daily Mirror. Now five years into the job there’s a feeling that Tuesday’s last-16 tie “could be the game that defines Southgate as England manager”.
Henderson: it’s about the here and now
There was “a sense of national dread” when Joachim Löw’s Germany were confirmed as England’s opponents for the round of 16, says The Sun. The Germans certainly have recent footballing history on their side - since that match in ’66 they have beaten England in all four games they have played in knockout stages of major tournaments.
While history favours Die Mannschaft, England midfielder Jordan Henderson insists that the past won’t be on his mind when the rivalry is renewed, AFP reports.
“For us as players we don’t tend to think too much about the history,” said the Liverpool captain. “It is about the here and now. What Germany are good at and the areas we can exploit. What we can do to hurt them.”
The winners of the tie will play Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-finals in Rome on Saturday 3 July.
Kick-off time and TV details
The round of 16 clash between England and Germany takes place on Tuesday 29 June at Wembley Stadium in London. Kick-off is at 5pm (BST) and the match is live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
England starting XI
Gareth Southgate has changed to a 3-4-3 formation with Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire at the back. Bukayo Saka starts in attack with Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish are on the bench.
- England (3-4-3): Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Phillips, Rice, Shaw, Saka, Sterling, Kane
Germany starting XI
Germany are without Ilkay Gundogan so Leon Goretzka replaces the Man City man in midfield. Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Bayern’s Thomas Muller are named in attack.
- Germany (3-4-2-1): Neuer, Ginter, Rudiger, Hummels, Kimmich, Kroos, Goretzka, Gosens, Muller, Werner, Havertz
Pundit predictions: who will win?
Ross Jackson, 90min: “Every single fibre of ones being tells you that man-to-man this England team are more than a match for the Germany team, yet somehow getting over the line when it really matters appears unachievable. Prediction: England 0-1 Germany.”
Mark Critchley, The Independent: “Of all the big beasts from Group F that England could have drawn, Germany were the most desirable opponents. Bar any sudden changes in approach, Jogi Low’s side will press and push forward, perhaps with enough force to break through, but will always be at risk of playing into England’s hands. If Gareth Southgate can come up with a plan to nullify Germany’s attack, his players should profit on the break. England 1-0 Germany.”
Scott Newman, SportsKeeda: “This promises to be a tight game between two of Euro 2020’s strongest teams, and it’ll probably be decided by one goal at best. England have more momentum at the moment, but question marks over Gareth Southgate’s system and tactical nous remain, particularly against high-level opponents. With that said, Germany are not the force they once were, and this should be a good chance for the Three Lions to capitalise on a creaking German defence. We expect England to pick up a historic win. Prediction: England 2-1 Germany.”
Ben Knapton, SportsMole: “There would be no better time for [Harry] Kane and co to rediscover their golden touch against a Germany defence which is certainly not impenetrable, and it is exactly these sorts of tests that England must prevail in to prove their credentials as serious contenders for the crown. We would dearly love to back an England win, but in a tale as old as time, the Germans’ winning mentality should shine through as another shot at glory goes begging for the Three Lions. We say: England 1-2 Germany (a.e.t).”
Telegraph Sport: “Despite Germany’s hit-and-miss start to the tournament, coach Joachim Low’s upbeat demeanour is understandable - it generally has not gone well for England in previous meetings. However, while history may not be on England’s side, you could argue current form is. Yes, the Germans put four past Portugal in thrilling fashion, but shipped five goals during the group stages - and England are yet to concede this summer. Verdict: England 2 Germany 1.”
Mike Tuckerman, The Roar: “Let’s put it this way: if England can’t beat Germany now, they’ll never beat them. England’s attack should be more than enough to take care of Germany’s plodding back three. The only thing that will stop the English is their weird psychological obsession with this particular fixture.”
Steven Luckings, The National: “The most intriguing tie of the round. England have blown more cold than hot but topped group D with seven points, conceding no goals but scoring only two in the process. Germany’s progress mirrors England’s to a degree. Awful against France, brilliant against Portugal and stuttering against Hungary. However, when it comes to tournament football, few would bet against the Germans. Wing-backs Robin Gosens and Joshua Kimmich hold the key to unlocking England’s stubborn rearguard. Prediction: Germany go through.”
Tom Doyle, London Evening Standard: “Joachim Low has promised that we will see a ‘different’ Germany in the knockouts, but they will have to step things up against England. The Germans put four past Portugal in thrilling fashion, but shipped five goals during the group stages - and England are yet to concede this summer. It should be a tight game at Wembley, and England will be slight favourites given their defensive record - but mentality may prove the decisive factor, and Low’s squad has bags of it. England 1-0 Germany.”