England vs Germany at Wembley is a matchup that rekindles memories of great games of the past, from the 1966 World Cup final to the semifinal match of Euro ’96.
It’s a shame many of the big stars will be missing this one. When the two teams take the field at the rebuilt 90,000 capacity stadium for Wednesday’s friendly, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Owen Hargreaves won’t be in the lineup for England, while Germany will be without Michael Ballack, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose.
David Beckham is also struggling to overcome his lingering ankle problem while Michael Owen is just returning to fitness and may only play one half at best. The list of injuries goes on and rival coaches Steve McClaren and Joachim Loew are frustrated they won't have their first-choice lineups for what is traditionally a full-blooded confrontation. “We are going to be missing experience, routine and leadership,” said Loew.
“Those missing are not easy to replace. It would have been good if we had the best possible team for this game, but we are not going to complain. It’s a joy to be playing in this stadium.”
England-Germany games always have an edge and no one will be taking it easy in this game even if it is a friendly ahead of European Championship qualifiers next month.