Germany ready for another penalty shoot-out against England if necessary


Herzogenaurach (Germany) (AFP) – Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz says Germany are once again ready for another penalty shoot-out against England if Tuesday’s Euro 2020 last 16 clash is decided by spot-kicks.

Joachim Loew’s side head to Wembley looking to extend England’s miserable run of 55 years since they last beat Germany in the knockout stages of a major tournament.

The Germans triumphed over England on penalties in the semi-finals of both the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96, the latter of which was also at Wembley.

It was current England manager Gareth Southgate who missed the crucial spot-kick as the Germans went on to win the Euro 96 title.

Now 25 years later, the Germans are ready for penalties should the scores be level after extra time on Tuesday.

“You always have to be prepared for a penalty shoot-out,” Havertz said Sunday.

“That’s why you shoot one or two penalties after training to see who the best takers are.”

The 22-year-old was born three years after the 1996 European Championship.

His goal sealed Chelsea’s win in last month’s Champions League final, and he also scored in Germany’s Euro 2020 win over Portugal and draw with Hungary.

He insists a potential shoot-out “is not the biggest pre-game issue” for the Germans, but said “I would definitely take a penalty if I were on the field.”

Germany have won their last four knockout matches against England, but so far have struggled for consistency at Euro 2020.

After sweeping aside holders Portugal 4-2 having lost their opening game to world champions France, the Germans were six minutes from elimination before equalising in a 2-2 draw with Hungary.

“I think we showed our real face against Portugal,” said left-back Robin Gosens who was man-of-the-match with a goal and two assists against the Portuguese.

“After the Portugal game, we were national heroes, but after Hungary – the bogeymen.

“The contrast is a bit too great for me.

“We made a few mistakes in the first round, but we came second in the most difficult group of the European Championship.”

To preserve the pitch, UEFA have said Germany are not allowed to train at Wembley on Monday.

A crowd of around 40,000 is expected Tuesday after the British government raised the capacity for the last 16 game despite the decision to delay the final easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

However, Gosens criticised the decision to increase the capacity amid concerns over the Delta variant.

“I think it’s borderline because at the end of the day 40,000 spectators at Wembley doesn’t make it safer for us,” said the Atalanta defender.

“We live in a bubble and are isolated, but it’s far from optimal when you see the big picture.”

Due to current travel restrictions between Germany and the United Kingdom, England can expect overwhelming home support.

“For us, it’s an additional motivation,” added Gosens.

“It’s great when the stadium is against you and you can silence the fans.”

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