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Sunday, June 27, 2010

GERMANY vs ENGLAND >>> Match Previer


When England face Germany on Sunday, one of the greatest footballing rivalries will be renewed.The spectre of penalties will loom large over the England players, having suffered semi-final defeats on spot-kicks to a German team at both the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96, not to mention England's unenviable position of having the worst record on penalties in world football. But if England are to continue a run of form which sees them unbeaten against Germany in three meetings on foreign soil then the focus must be on winning the match, and not any shootout.

The history between the two nations is well documented, with England's one and only World Cup win coming against West Germany at Wembley in 1966. The Germans had the Indian sign over England for 34 years, including a showdown at the 1970 World Cup, a draw at the 1982 World Cup and those infamous shootouts, before England finally gained a competitive victory over Germany at Euro 2000.

The days of Germany ruling the roost over England now seem to be a thing of the past, with England winning 5-1 in Munich in a World Cup qualifier in 2001 and coming away victorious from Berlin in an international friendly in November 2008. Germany have also had their share of success in that time, though, so there is every reason to suggest this game will be a tight affair.

England are at full strength going into the game, with all 23 squad members taking part in training. With Ledley King back from a groin injury and Jamie Carragher available again following suspension, Fabio Capello has options at the back. England kept a clean sheet in picking up their first, crucial win over Slovenia on Wednesday and put in a much-improved overall performance, so it seems unlikely there will be any changes to the starting-line-up, with Matthew Upson keeping his place alongside John Terry.

The pressure will be on Wayne Rooney to finally get on the scoresheet after a disappointing campaign and, while there were positives against Slovenia, England's top players must improve to oust Joachim Loew's side.
While England may put out an unchanged side, Germany have decisions to make. One is made for them as Miroslav Klose comes back from a one-match ban while Cacau, who started in his place against Ghana, will miss the match with a stomach strain.

More concerning is the fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger, the lynchpin who, alongside Sami Khedira, has held the midfield together for Mesut Ozil to provide the attacking impetus. But Schweinsteiger has a thigh muscle injury and, with the England game coming just four days after the last group game, he may not have sufficient time to recover. If Low is forced to deploy Toni Kroos in his place, it could be pivotal, but Schweinsteiger took place in full training on Saturday.

Germany also have issues at left back. Bayern Munich's Holger Badstuber played there in the first two games but came in for much criticism. Jerome Boateng was then brought in to start against Ghana but he was replaced in the 73rd minute by Marcell Jansen and also faces a race against time to prove his fitness. Loew will probably not decide who plays there until Sunday.

Germany player to watch: Miroslav Klose.
Second only to Gerd Muller in Germany's all-time scoring chart, Klose went into the finals with questions to answer after a dismal season with Bayern Munich. A goal in the first game against Australia relieved some of the pressure but he was then controversially sent off against Serbia. England have yet to face a quality forward yet in the finals, with Robert Green's gaffe against USA the only goal conceded, and despite Klose's troubles, he is a tournament performer and his display could be the difference.

England player to watch: Jermain Defoe.
With only one goal against a major nation, and that being in an international friendly against Netherlands, questions remain over Defoe's pedigree on the biggest of stages. Goals against Andorra, Kahzakstan and Trinidad & Tobago and all well and good, but Germany will not allow the same time and space. His match-winning performance against Slovenia provided a timely boost, and his ability to shake off the shackles of the German back line may shape England's hopes.

Players to watch Philipp Lahm v Steven Gerrard
The Bayern Munich and Liverpool men are unlikely to go head-to-head very often during the match, as Lahm operates wide on the Germany right and Gerrard, though he may be asked to play on the left, prefers to go through the middle. But both captains will be required to keep cool and show genuine leadership qualities when the emotional temperature inevitably starts to rise. Each must fire his troops up to the right level of intensity and determination without pushing matters to boiling point. This is a real test for the rookies, as both Lahm and Gerrard are wearing the armband for the first time at a major tournament as they deputise for injured duo Michael Ballack and Rio Ferdinand respectively.

A tough one to call, and perhaps the availability of Schweinsteiger could prove the difference between these teams.

Take ENGLAND WIN ( No Handicap) Main Bet

Take ENGLAND WIN 1 - 1 (Small Fun Bet)
Take ENGLAND WIN 2 - 1 (Small Fun Bet)

Odds Centre >>> http://www.asianbookie.com/

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