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5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany

By June 28, 2021No Comments

England face Germany in an eye-catching Euro 2020 last-16 clash at Wembley on Tuesday night.

In a repeat of the Euro 96 semi-final, Gareth Southgate will be hoping to lead the Three Lions into the quarter-finals.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the fixture.

Slice of revenge for Southgate

5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany PLZ Soccer
Gareth Southgate missed a penalty for England against Germany in Euro 96 (Mike Egerton/PA)

The England manager missed the deciding penalty 25 years ago as the hosts crashed out to Germany in a semi-final shoot-out.

While he may have landed a pizza advert on the back of the miss, it remained his abiding England moment during his playing career.

Southgate has spoken about the moment many times since becoming Three Lions boss and even showed his current crop a video of the miss on the eve of the Euros – now he will be hoping victory on Tuesday night will finally give him closure.

Shape-shifters

5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany PLZ Soccer
John Stones is likely to start for England once again (Nick Potts/PA)

England played with a back four in their three Group D matches, with John Stones the only defender to start all three.

Southgate used a three-man defence to take England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and has reverted back on occasion when coming up against the bigger nations.

He could again go down that route on Tuesday night, especially as Germany now set up in a similar fashion.

Low point for Germany

5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany PLZ Soccer
Joachim Low is stepping down as Germany coach (Liam McBurney/PA)

Joachim Low has been in charge of Germany since 2006 and led them to the World Cup in 2010.

A group-stage exit in Russia two years ago, however, saw him come under increased scrutiny and it was decided before Euro 2020 that he would be replaced by Hansi Flick.

Low, 61, will want to leave on a high and not crash out to a rival such as England and so – like Southgate – has plenty riding on the evening.

Will Kane be able to end drought?

5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany PLZ Soccer
Harry Kane has yet to score at Euro 2020 (Nick Potts/PA)

England captain Harry Kane boasts a fine goalscoring record for the Three Lions but has drawn a blank so far during the Euros.

The Tottenham striker has struggled to get involved in any of the three games so far but Southgate insists he is the most important member of his squad.

Kane will want to break his duck sooner rather than later as he looks to add to the 34 goals he has scored in his previous 57 appearances and he could pick no better time to do it than Tuesday night.

It’s a Knockout

5 talking points ahead of England’s clash with Germany PLZ Soccer
David Seaman was the hero against Spain (Adam Butler/PA)

England go into Tuesday’s game having not won a knockout game at a European Championship since beating Spain on penalties in the quarter-final at Euro 96.

Southgate himself admits that is an “incredible record” but has backed his young squad to address that, with the previous results an “irrelevance” at this stage.

Germany, meanwhile, have won the tournament on three separate occasions and have also lost three finals.

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