England seek to change history of German dominance in Euro last 16 tie  

June 29 – England will attempt to beat Germany in a major tournament knockout game for the first time since their 1966 World Cup triumph at Wembley when the two great rivals lock horns today at the same venue in a mouth-watering last-16 tie at Euro 2020.

Amidst all the reminders about penalty shoot-out heartbreak and history favouring the Germans, Gareth Southgate’s team will bring the nation to a standstill in what is their biggest match since the 2018 World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia.

Four times England have met Germany in the knockout rounds of a major tournament since 1966. Four times they have lost.

Southgate, who famously missed the crucial spot kick in the Euro 96 defeat, has been keen to stress that the past is the past and that 12 members of his squad were not even born at that time.

Neither England nor their goal machine captain Harry Kane have set the pulses racing in the tournament so far but Germany have not looked that convincing either and  were six minutes from defeat against underdogs Hungary and a humiliating exit in their final group game.

A relaxation of Covid-induced ticketing rules means 40,000 fans will be present, with both teams hoping to set up a Rome quarter-final with Sweden or Ukraine, who play later tonight, in what is by far the easiest half of the draw.

Germany haven’t lost to England in their last seven games at Wembley and will be desperate to stay in the tournament and give outgoing manager Joachim Low a fitting send-off.

But Southgate has impressed upon his young team not to think about previous encounters.

“Something we have spoken about over the last four years is that this team doesn’t carry the baggage from previous eras,” he said.

“It’s a real opportunity to progress to a quarter-final, albeit against a team with pedigree and experience.”

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