Old-foes will reunite in Dortmund on Wednesday when Germany host England in a high-profile international friendly. It is also German winger Lukas Podolski’s farewell game.
While quite a few big names from both sides are missing out due to injury, there can be no denying that Die Mannschaft hold a definite edge over their perennial rivals, the Three Lions.
The big news for Germany is that their captain, Manuel Neuer, will be missing out after suffering a calf injury in training. But with Kevin Trapp and Marc Andre Ter Stegen, the Germans look well covered in that area.
While the spotlight will be on Lukas Podolski, who has an impressive goal scoring record for Germany (48 goals in 129 appearances), the likes of Leroy Sane and Andre Schurrle (ex-Chelsea) will have to pick up the slack in Dortmund.
Arguably the only real flaw in Joachim Low’s side is their defence, with right-back Benedikt Howedes a little slow out of the blocks at times but thanks to the overall quality of the Germans.
Apart from Neuer, Marco Reus, Julian Draxler, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gomez are the other big names missing out due to injury, which does leave the hosts looking a little light up top.
Gareth Southgate has a squad that is full of potential, but England fans will be wary of letting them get carried away after decades of underperforming at major tournaments.
He has boldly dropped Wayne Rooney from the England squad and his side will have to back his manager with a resounding result against a team that are firm favourites. And to make matters even more interesting, Rooney’s long-term replacement— Harry Kane— is out of action as well.
Any way you look at it, England’s biggest weapon is their speed on the counter. Young Marcus Rashford will be leading the line for the Three Lions and he will have fellow speedsters like Nathan Redmond and Raheem Sterling for company.
A player who may spring a surprise to the Germans is veteran striker Jermain Defoe, enjoying a second wind to his career at struggling club Sunderland.
Who starts in central defence is difficult to predict, with Gary Cahill, John Stones and Chris Smalling all contenders but it is likely that the Chelsea man will line up with the Manchester United defender.
Super Stat: The most contentious World Cup final ever was arguably the 1966 one, in which England beat Germany 4-2 thanks to a hattrick from Geoff Hurst. Hurst’s second goal, which gave the Englishmen a 3-2 lead in extra time, is still a bone of contention between fans as to whether it really crossed the line or not!