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Germany v England: Key players to watch

Wednesday 22nd March 2017
England meet Germany on Wednesday night, as Gareth Southgate attempts to discover a winning formula and build some confidence among the Three Lions squad in preparation for the 2018 World Cup. Despite the fixture being labelled a friendly, there's always a great deal at stake when the old enemies collide.
Here are six key players ahead of the encounter at the Westfalenstadion. Along with a run through of members from both squads who could play a significant part in the game.


Mats Hummels

After spending nine seasons with Borussia Dortmund, where he lifted two Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final, Mats Hummels switched German clubs last summer for £30 million. The Bayern Munich man's one of the most complete centre-backs around: Hummels is equally adept at fulfilling his defensive responsibilities and playing the ball out from the back.

Julian Draxler

Julian Draxler was once embedded in German football having plied his trade for eight years in the Bundesliga. However, a move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain materialised in January, and his direct approach has netted him seven goals in 16 appearances for his new side. Draxler's pace, quick feet, and eye for goal from out wide could cause Southgate's side problems.

Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos is a majestic midfielder whose superb range of passing allows him to control games from the middle of the pitch. The Galactico is accustomed to performing on the biggest stage having played an influential role for Real Madrid during last season's European success, as well as proving vital in Germany's World Cup triumph in 2014. He poses a serious threat to England.

Other Players

Germany has some emerging talents who could all feature on Wednesday night. Joshua Kimmich , 22, performed admirably at Euro 2016 in his quest to replace the ever-dependable, Philipp Lahm. 21-year-old Dortmund midfielder, Julian Weigl has established himself at club level over the past two seasons and now aims to gain international recognition. While in the attack, Leroy Sane , 21, is in good form for Manchester City and looks to have a promising future for his national side.

Joachim Low is a manager renowned for giving youngsters an opportunity, but the experienced stars still play an essential role for the national team. Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil both possess World Cup winner's medals, along with over 150 international caps combined. If Low has one important issue to address, it's up front. Although Thomas Muller is an established goalscorer, he has often been deployed in a deeper position, which could give a certain Leipzig striker the chance to shine.

Timo Werner  has risen to the occasion this campaign having hit 14 Bundesliga goals in 22 starts. He will be eager to make his debut for Germany. While at the opposite end of the spectrum, it is Lukas Podolski's last contest as part of Die Mannschaft and he will captain the side - after earning 130 caps and scoring 48 times, he's had an outstanding career and deserves the plaudits coming his way.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana is crucial to Liverpool in Jurgen Klopp's high-pressing system. The England international continues to improve, now adding more goals to his game - hitting seven this Premier League campaign, while also regularly creating chances for teammates. With his great technique, ability to link up play, and creative instinct, Lallana can cause the Germans problems in dangerous areas.

Jamie Vardy

It was a sensational rise to prominence for Jamie Vardy as he not only scored 24 times in the English top flight to help Leicester City claim the title last season, but the striker also received the Premier League Player of the Year award. Although he's struggled over the last six months, Vardy is now beginning to rediscover top form. His pace and aggressive attitude can be a real asset.

Dele Alli

The midfielder has reached new heights recently and is still progressing at Tottenham. Alli offers unpredictability on the ball, and he's mastering the art of arriving in the penalty area at the right time, which has seen him score 14 Premier League goals this season. His names almost certainly among the first on the Three Lions teamsheet, but can he meet the nation's high expectations?

Other Players

England has four men hoping to make their international debuts during Wednesday's friendly. Burnley's Michael Keane is having a solid season; the centre-back has been ever-present for his side in the league. Southampton duo, James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond have also earned call-ups to Southgate's first squad as permanent manager, along with Michail Antonio . Each of them is aiming to prove they belong among the elite group of English players.

The Germany encounter could give two players who both possess huge potential their chance to impress: John Stones and Ross Barkley . The Man City defender has been touted to develop into a formidable ball-playing centre-back in the near future, but before that occurs he must add consistency to his game. For Barkley, he's been involved in 14 goals this campaign in the English top division and continues to gradually improve at Everton under Ronald Koeman's watchful gaze.

Possibly given the task of ensuring the Three Lions find the net are two strikers aspiring to ignite their England careers - despite one being aged 34 and the other 15 years his junior. Marcus Rashford remains one of his country's brightest young prospects, while Jermain Defoe's goalscoring prowess is evident once again this season, with 14 goals for a struggling Sunderland side.

Here is our England best XI.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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