Sunday, August 1, 2021

Low embraces ´captivating´ England-Germany rivalry ahead of Euro 2020 meeting

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2021

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Germany head coach Joachim Low is embracing the “captivating” history between his side and England ahead of their blockbuster Euro 2020 last-16 showdown at Wembley on Tuesday.

Low’s Die Mannschaft have won the past four encounters against England in knockout matches at major tournaments, although the Three Lions beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

This will be the 13th meeting between England and Germany at Wembley. England won four of the first five such games (L1), including the 1966 World Cup final, but are winless in their previous seven against Germany at the national stadium (D2 L5).

Low was in charge when German defeated England 4-1 at the 2010 World Cup in the round of 16, while current England manager Gareth Southgate missed a penalty as the Three Lions lost 6-5 in a shoot-out at Wembley in the Euro 1996 semi-finals.

“I think all the matches between England and Germany you talk about for years after,” Low said. “This is a fixture that captivates everyone. It’s an all-or-nothing game for both teams.

“The excitement goes without saying I can feel the players are highly motivated and we have analysed the English side.

“We are looking forward to this great encounter and a great evening ahead.”

Low has led Germany since 2006, winning the 2014 World Cup, and will finish up his tenure at the end of Euro 2020, yet he said he has barely thought about the England match being his last in charge.

“All in all I thought about it two seconds,” Low said. “I don’t think about it because I have so many other thoughts in my head.

“This is my passion. My whole focus is on the match tomorrow night and I hope we will succeed.”

Low has a few selection headaches with injury concerns over Antonio Rudiger, Robin Gosens and Ilkay Gundogan, although he said the final decision will be made on the day of the match.

The Germany boss was also full of praise for England, including Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane – who has had an underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign with no goals.

“Of course we have to be focused,” Low said. “Look at Harry Kane and the level that he plays. He can score goals out of every situation.

“This is his skills, his qualities. He has all of them. He is both footed, he is very good in the air. He can protect the ball very well.

“But England also has [Raheem] Sterling, [Phil] Foden, Mason Mount maybe. They have a lot of strong offensive players, attacking players with [Jadon] Sancho as well and [Marcus] Rashford.”

Germany have reached at least the semi-final in each of the last three editions of the European Championship. Indeed, since the tournament was expanded in 1996, they have reached at least the last four of the competition each time they have progressed to the knockout stages.

Die Mannschaft have conceded at least once in each of their previous eight matches at major tournaments (Euros and World Cup), since a 3-0 win against Slovakia at this stage of Euro 2016. Only once have had they had a longer run without a major tournament clean sheet, which was in their first nine World Cup matches between 1934 and 1954.

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