The Acrobatic Miroslav Klose Will Be Germany's Spear In The Heart Of The Three Lions.

So the big game has arrived at last. And for God’s sake, don’t mention the war!

Schweinsteiger, Ozil, and Jerome Boateng have all reportedly been passed fit, but striker Cacau has been ruled out with an abdominal muscle strain. Schweinsteiger’s inclusion in this match is absolutely vital, with very little cover available in his position after injuries to Michael Ballack, Christian Traesch and Simon Rolfes.

Miroslav Klose will step back into the starting XI and will look to shine against England as a sort of last hurrah in his illustrious career. The history between these two stretches back farther than the days of Gerd Mueller and Lothar Matthaus, even before the days of Franz Beckenbauer. Germany and England’s rivarly almost seems to be in the blood. And blood will certainly boil on both sides when these two clash on Sunday.

Germany will line up very similarly to the way they have for their past three fixtures.

Neuer – Lahm, Mertesacker, Friedrich, Badstuber – Schweinsteiger, Khedira – Podolski, Ozil, Mueller – Klose

Mertesacker’s poor form of late will be a cause for concern, considering the opponents he will be facing. Wayne Rooney and one of Jermain Defore, Emile Heskey or Peter Crouch, will be Mertesacker’s task for 90 minutes. It will be vital to Germany’s chances in this match that Mertesacker and his defensive partner Arne Friedrich are up to the challenge.

Sami Khedira will also be key in Germany’s chances in this match. His ability to contain the creative threat of players like Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry will be vital. Should any of England’s dangermen get too much space on the ball, they will instantly look to unlock Germany’s defense. Khedira will probably not make any bursting runs forward in this match, because of all of the defensive responsibilities he will have placed on his shoulders by coach Joachim Loew.

England will setup with an aim to take the game to Germany and win this match. Because of the rivalry, I believe this game will be an absolute shootout. Neither team will want to lose, but neither team will sit back and hold their ground.

James – Johnson, Terry, Upson, Cole – Milner, Lampard, Barry, Gerrard – Rooney, Defore

David James starts in net for England after Robert Green’s howler against USA. James, though, is also known for his inconsistent performances, and has been labeled ‘Calamity James.’ Podolski and Klose, though, will still need their shooting boots on to beat the experienced World Cup veteran.

Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole will play at full-back for England, and they will look to come forward at every opportunity and support attacks. This will give Germany the chance to counter-attack down the wings with the technical skill and pace of Podolski and Mueller. Getting in behind these two will be key to Germany’s attacking threat.

Milner will most likely start over Aaron Lennon or Shaun Wright-Phillips, and the Aston Villa man is known for his work-rate and creativity, and is even a great crosser of the ball. Although he is not very quick, it will be important for Germany to close him down quickly or be cut open by a sharp pass. Badstuber will be the man in charge of marking Milner, and because Badstuber is so defensive-minded, Germany should have Milner’s number.

On the opposite side, is one of England’s most talented players in the form of Steven Gerrard. Gerrard will constantly look to cut inside off the left-wing and find space centrally so that he can look for shooting or through-ball opportunities. A double-team of Lahm and Khedira should keep him fairly quiet, while Schweinsteiger deals with the threat of Frank Lampard as a buffer before the defense.

It will be a very tight, very fiery affair. Joachim Loew must make sure that his side are determined and ruthless, seeing it as a task that needs completion rather than a game that must be won. Germany’s will to succeed will take them over the line against a an evenly-matched English side. The brutish Wayne Rooney, who was so prolific for Manchester United this season past, could decide this game in an instant. The dangermen on both side could well turn the match on it’s head in a second of magic. It could well go all the way to penalties after a barn-storming 2-2 draw. And then, as Franz Beckenbauer said recently,

‘Germany wins. Sorry!’