Germany and England Euro 2020 round of 16 match which is scheduled to kick off at 17:00 tonight, June 29, has been one of the most talked-about encounters of the ongoing tournament.
It is expected to be total warfare when Germany and England ignite their old-time rivalry at the Wembley Stadium. Since it was confirmed that the two nations would go against each other in the tournament, it has been nothing but drama even before the kick-off date.
The biggest of all the dramas was the directives that Germany’s squad was not permitted to train on the pitch of the Wembley Stadium on the eve of the matchday. That didn’t go down well with German journalists who described it as a “scandal”.
Tonight is the D-day in which Germany would maintain their supremacy over England or the English squad would continue with their drive to balance power in the rivalry.
Recall that before tonight’s tie, Germany and England have met 32 times in official competitions in which the German team won 15 times, while the English team won 13 and they drew four times. Hence, if Germany win tonight, it would make it the 16th time they have beaten England. And if England win, it would make it the 14th time of doing so in the history of football.
Issues facing Germany
Unlike England that had an easier ride in the group stage of Euro 2020, Germany struggled to get to the round of 16. It got to a point that it was looking like they would not make it to this stage of the competition.
However, they made it but the coach of the side, Joachim Low would have to find a way to manage the fitness issues of the team ahead of the Germany and England clash tonight.
During the pre-match press conference, the coach lamented that Germany might be without their versatile football star Ilkay Gundogan and their defender Antonio Rudiger. The worst part is that Germany’s best player in the tournament so far, Robin Gosens might not also be available for the tie.
Gundogan might be out due to the bruised skull he sustained during Germany’s last group game against Hungary. Reports confirmed that he did not train fully with the German squad ahead of tonight’s game. While Gosens and Rudiger are said to be battling “cold symptoms”.
The German coach said: “Well Ilkay, he suffered this cranial bruise and before he still felt a little bit dizzy, especially in training, so we said, ‘OK, we have to stop his load’, and for today he did a good job of 13 minutes so we have to decide about tomorrow (Tuesday, June 29).
“Ilkay couldn’t participate in the whole team training, but this was discussed and agreed on before…
“About the other two they had caught a cold, symptoms of a cold, they haven’t felt so well, not powerful and so we took some blood samples and there are low infections, small infections.
“Maybe it gets better in one day, maybe they get up tomorrow and feel well already but maybe, on the other hand, it can get worse overnight so we have to wait until tomorrow.
“I don’t know if these players will be at [our] disposal, I can’t say it yet, but we will have other solutions.”
As for England, they don’t have a serious injury worry. Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount would likely be available for the game even if they won’t start the game.
Recall that the two players have been in self-isolation because they came in close contact with Scottish player, Billy Gilmour, who was confirmed to be a carrier of coronavirus during the tournament.
As it stands, any of the two teams that win tonight’s game would face Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-finals stage of the competition on July 3, 2021. The venue of the game is Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy.
Side attractions of Germany and England showdown
The English FA has confirmed that the captain of England, Harry Kane would wear a rainbow-colored armband to show solidarity with the LGBT+ community during the round of 16 game against Germany tonight.
This means that the captains of the two teams will honor the pride month by wearing the rainbow-colored armband. Recall that the captain of Germany, Manuel Neuer has been wearing the rainbow-colored armband since the Euro 2020 campaign started on June 11.
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜@HKane will join @DFB_Team's Manuel Neuer in wearing a rainbow captain’s armband for tomorrow’s game at @wembleystadium to mark the end of Pride month, as the #ThreeLions stand in allyship with LGBTQ+ communities around the world. pic.twitter.com/ML8yEnz6Gn— England (@England) June 28, 2021
Meanwhile, the England FA has urged England’s supporters to respect the national anthem of Germany when the two countries face each other at the Wembley Stadium tonight.
Recall that some supporters of the English team booed Croatia’s players when they were reciting their national anthem in England’s Euro 2020 opener which was played at the Wembley Stadium. England went on to win the match 1-0.
Aside from that, the English FA urged the country’s supporters not to boo the Three Lions of England when they decide to take a knee before the kick-off of the round of 16 game. It has been the culture of most football teams to take a knee before the beginning of football games since mid-2020 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
But some football fans in England don’t buy the idea of players taking a knee before a game. Hence, they sometimes boo teams that decide to do so before football games.
In a statement released on Monday, the FA said: “England fans have played a vital role in supporting the team throughout this tournament and we thank you for positively getting behind them. It means a huge amount to Gareth, the team, and the support staff
“Whether you are at Wembley Stadium, or watching from somewhere else, please support England in the right way, before, during, and after the match.
“This includes respecting each national anthem and the players’ choice to take the knee before kick-off.
“We want you to be able to watch the match in a safe and enjoyable environment that’s free from any discriminatory or disrespectful behavior.”