Friendlies are a chance to actually enjoy watching England play, rather than wallowing in despair at a typically woeful showing. At least if the 3 Lions lose this time, it doesn’t mean much. And thanks to the tumult at the top of the Premier League, fans get to see some new faces wearing those ludicrously expensive shirts. As for Germany, well, don’t compare England with them too closely. A team bedecked in winners medals, the only question for coach Joachim Löw is who leads the line with Klose retired and Max Kruse dropped for a variety of indiscretions.
Often said to be the “one who got away” from Bayern Munich’s academy, the truth is Hummels developed more slowly than others. It was only after a couple of seasons under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund that Hummels became one of the best defenders in Europe, coveted by all. His play is typified by excellent passing and fine technical ability–think Mascherano rather than Robert Huth. The Dortmund captain will be a phenomenal test for Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, who will have to work very hard indeed to take any chances that come their way.
Since scoring the winner in the World Cup Final, Götze is still struggling to nail on a starting place in Guardiola’s first XI. The young maestro has made some noises about wanting to leave Munich at the end of the season, alerting every major club in Europe. Götze may have had issues at club level but he retains the trust of Löw, who may choose to field him as a false nine in the absence of any better options. Both Götze and Muller prefer to attack from deep though, so it will be interesting to see if both start against England.
Leading scorer in the Premier League and flying with Tottenham Hotspur, Kane is in scintillating form. One of his key weapons is a fearsome shot, often struck early to take goalkeepers by surprise. Kane’s pressing from the front and likely pairing with Dele Alli will hopefully reap the same rewards for England as it has for Spurs. Every Tottenham fan in the country will be praying Kane doesn’t pick up an injury during the international break- he is key to their title hopes.
A tough choice between Vardy and his Leicester teammate Danny Drinkwater, the striker just edges it for Honourable Mention. His wiry speed is sure to surprise a German side who haven’t played against him yet, and don’t yet realise what this deadly Fox can do.