The Euro 2020 round of 16 continues with some fascinating games and one of them represents one of the greatest football rivalries when England take on Germany at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, 29 June 2021.
While both sides are aiming to reach the final at Wembley on 11 July, the upcoming round of 16 tie will be a heartbreaking event for the losing side, who will have to leave the competition so early and after a defeat to bitter rivals.
Whoever wins here will suddenly become a massive favorite to reach the final, particularly after a leaderless Netherlands side suffered a disappointing defeat to the Czech Republic yesterday.
England suffered one of their most heartbreaking defeats ever when they played Germany in the Euro 1996 semi-final shootout and current manager Gareth Southgate missed the crucial penalty at a packed Wembley.
Furthermore, many still remember Frank Lampard's ‘ghost goal' against Germany at the 2010 World Cup and how the Germans claimed a memorable 4-1 win in their last competitive game against England on 27 June 2010.
England Betting Preview
Gareth Southgate's side came through the group stage without conceding a goal, winning their opener against the 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia and their final group game against the Czech Republic (both 1-0), but they looked really clueless against Scotland.
Despite not playing it at all in England's build-up, Southgate could be tempted to go for a back three against Germany, looking for more defensive stability but this could be a risky move and we all know Southgate's nature.
Chelsea duo of Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are set to come out of 10 days of self-isolation on the day of England's clash against rivals with Germany, which is far from ideal. The latter would normally be a guaranteed starter but having missed all of training in the lead up to the match, can Gareth Southgate really throw the Chelsea playmaker in?
Raheem Sterling has scored both goals so far and the Manchester City forward should start alongside captain Harry Kane, while Jack Grealish could be sacrificed if Southgate recalls Mason Mount or Phil Foden.
Unlike the 2018 World Cup, when he had scored five goals during the group stage, England skipper Harry Kane is yet to score at the Euros but his presence and work rate will produce a constant threat to Germany's backline.
England have been far from glamorous probably because of the conservative approach in midfield as Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice have both done very well breaking up the opponents' midfield line. This time, though, they'll face a completely different level of enemies.
Liverpool's skipper Jordan Henderson was finally brought on as a second-half substitute against the Czech Republic but Southgate could stick with Rice and Kalvin Phillips.
Defensively, England are much more solid with Manchester United's skipper Harry Maguire back and healthy, and probably more so with the defensive impact of Rice and Phillips ahead of them.
Many people are wondering why Jadon Sancho doesn't start for England as Southgate opted for Phil Foden in the first two games before switching to Arsenal's starlet Bukayo Saka, the latter of whom did quite well against the Czechs, so the Borussia Dortmund winger may once again have to settle for a place on the bench.
However, if Southgate opts for the same side that beat the Czechs, he could add more attacking threat with either Marcus Rashford or Jadon Sancho during the game and this could be a challenging tactical switch for the Germans.
Germany Betting Preview
Could this be the end of Low's swansong? Well, the German would love to extend his spell for another week or more, but he must definitely reconsider his tactical approach as Die Mannschaft looked really vulnerable at the back, conceding five goals so far.
Some would go further and say that the Germans were lucky to even make it through the group as they had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Hungary in their final group game to secure a Group F runners-up spot.
However, many would also highlight the German performance during their 4-2 win over Portugal, particularly the contribution of both wing-backs when Joachim Löw's side unleashed its full potential.
Leon Goretzka was the saviour for Germany against Hungary and the Bayern Munich midfielder will hope to start here, though Low has so many quality midfielders at his disposal and it won't be easy to squeeze him into the starting side.
Leroy Sané remained on the field throughout the match against Hungary but he had a disappointing night at the Allianz Arena and he could make way for Thomas Muller.
Originally ruled out from the final group game against Hungary, Thomas Muller made a surprise appearance off the bench and the experienced all-rounder, who scored twice against England in South Africa, should boost the German attack.
Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Serge Gnabry were all fit to start against The Magyars despite heading into the game as doubts and they should be ready to feature against England, unless Joachim Low doesn't make tactical changes.
Lukas Klostermann and Jonas Hofmann are both doubts for Monday but neither would have started anyway so we can say that Low is privileged to field his strongest possible starting side against England.
Possible Starting Lineups of England and Germany
England: Jordan Pickford – Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Kyle Walker – Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice – Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling – Harry Kane. (4-2-3-1)
Germany: Manuel Neuer – Antonio Rudiger, Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter – Robin Gosens, Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, Joshua Kimmich – Kai Havertz, Thomas Müller – Serge Gnabry. (3-4-2-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Gareth Southgate has been pretty risk-averse when it comes to tournaments and his conservative approach could definitely reduce England's potential, but it can also win them more space to exploit on the counter.
England, at least on paper, have a squad that should be able to compete with any team on the planet, but that has rarely translated to success over the past few decades. And more worryingly, that lack of composure late in tournaments has shown across different generations now, which probably affects the mentality of the team.
Germany, on the other hand, aren’t as strong as they have been earlier during Joachim Low's tenure, but they have a ton of experience within their lines and still look pretty composed. If they scent blood in this one, they have the know-how to take advantage and upsetting rivals at Wembley would be an exceptional achievement for this generation.
If The Three Lions are going to finally beat Germany at a tournament they’re going to have to believe that they can actually do it and execute accordingly. They should be quietly confident heading into this one but it wouldn't be a surprise if the Germans turned up as they so often do once they reach the knockout stages of major tournaments.