Joachim Low will be looking to prevent the Three Lions from winning a second match in a row between the two rivals after their victory last year
Two great rivals will clash during the international break this week when England visit Dortmund to take on Germany in a friendly.
The Three Lions won the last meeting between these two sides – a 3-2 thriller – in Berlin last year but Joachim Low’s men are reigning world champions and their 4-1 triumph at the previous World Cup, in 2010, remains the most recent competitive match they have played.
Wednesday’s game will serve as a farewell match for Lukas Podolski, who will retire from international football after winning his 130th cap – leaving him third on the all-time list after Lothar Matthaus and Miroslav Klose.
|Game||Germany vs England|
|Date||Wednesday, March 22, 2017|
|Time||19:45 GMT, 15:45 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on ITV and by stream via the ITV Hub, with coverage beginning at 19:15 GMT.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live via ESPN’s online streaming network ESPN 3.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Leno, Ter Stegen, Trapp|
|Defenders||Hector, Howedes, Hummels, Kimmich, Mustafi, Rudy, Rudiger, Sule|
|Midfielders||Brandt, Can, Draxler, Khedira, Kroos, Ozil, Sane, Weigl|
|Forwards||Muller, Werner, Schurrle, Gomez, Podolski|
Joachim Low is likely to keep many of his regular starters on the bench ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan at the weekend.
Lukas Podolski is in the squad to make his farewell appearance in this match, and so is certain to be in the XI. Timo Werner could make his first appearance for the national team alongside him in attack.
Potential starting XI: Ter Stegen; Kimmich, Rudiger, Sule, Hector; Sane, Can, Weigl, Draxler; Werner, Podolski.
|Goalkeepers||Forster, Hart, Heaton|
|Defenders||Bertrand, Cahill, Clyne, Jones, Keane, Shaw, Smalling, Stones, Walker|
|Midfielders||Barkley, Dele, Dier, Lallana, Lingard, Livermore, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Redmond, Sterling, Ward-Prowse|
|Forwards||Defoe, Rashford, Vardy|
With a seemingly straightforward qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on the horizon on Sunday, Gareth Southgate may be tempted to give his best XI at least 45 minutes against higher-quality opposition in this match.
Jamie Vardy is likely to lead the line in the absence of Harry Kane, while Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse and Michael Keane will be hoping to make their debuts.
Potential starting XI: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Stones, Bertrand; Lallana, Dier, Dele; Lingard, Vardy, Sterling.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Germany are 3/4 favourites to emerge victorious on home turf, according to Oddschecker. The draw is available at 14/5 and England can be backed at 4/1.
Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller are joint-favourites to score first at 9/2. The man of the hour, Lukas Podoski, is available at 13/2 and Jamie Vardy comes in first for the Three Lions at a best price of 9/1.
With the World Cup not coming until next summer and both England and Germany off to a comfortable start in qualification, these friendlies always tend to feel a little like a distraction as the stakes mount at club level.
It might be of note that there are a few newer faces in the Three Lions squad, such as Jake Livermore, Michael Keane, James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond, were we not 15 months away from the next major tournament. A lot can, and will, change in that time and similarly, it is difficult to see Jermain Defoe’s recall as anything more significant than to cover for the injured Harry Kane.
Jordan Henderson is also out, taking two key components out of the spine of Gareth Southgate’s team. The new manager’s best chance of making use of this international break will be to begin to settle on his best two centre-backs and get a better idea of what his preferred central-midfield configuration might be, with Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a few others vying for spots.
Germany have a much more established group that is nicely supplemented by the introduction of youngsters such as Joshua Kimmich, Julian Weigl and Timo Werner. The latter, who only recently turned 21, has scored 14 goals in 24 games in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig this season and if there is one opening available in Joachim Low’s squad, it is for a consistent striker.
Saying farewell at Signal Iduna Park, meanwhile, will be one of the Germans’ best-ever goalscorers. Lukas Podolski’s 130th cap will be his last ahead of his lucrative move to Japan in the summer and he will sign off on his international career third on both the all-time appearances and goals lists for his country.