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Euro 2020: England vs Germany rekindles the clash of old rivals

Historically, they are two of the biggest rivals on the international soccer stage. Now the fates have once again pitted England against Germany, as the two continental giants go head-to-head at Euro 2020.

Whenever the two sides have crossed paths at major tournaments like the World Cup or the European Championships, it's been a passionate affair for fans and pundits, looking on with national pride and giddy with the fresh opportunity to settle old scores.

The next confrontation will be no different, as the Three Lions take on Die Mannschaft in the Round of 16. Given this is a one-off elimination match, one team will be celebrating progress while the other exits Euro 2020. Ahead of the game, the latest England v Germany betting odds are tight, suggesting it could go either way, although England narrowly edge it at -125 to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Wembley home advantage for England?

The game will take place on Tuesday 29th June at England's home venue Wembley Stadium, which may ultimately prove advantageous for the team. Taking this factor into account, oddsmakers reckon the Three Lions are slight favourites at +155 odds, capable of winning the tie without any need for extra time or penalties to decide the outcome.

Despite the need to overcome the support of a largely partisan crowd, with the vast majority of fans cheering for the English team, Germany has been handed +190 odds to claim victory within 90 minutes. Additionally, six members of the German squad play their club soccer in England, with three of those players based in the city of London.

Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz, and Timo Werner all play for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which is less than ten miles from Wembley Stadium. Interestingly, all but three England squad members play their soccer in the English Premier League. Two of those players, Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho, are currently with Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Germany boasts the competitive edge

Since the first-ever encounter in May 1930, a friendly match at the Deutsches Stadion in Berlin, which tied at 3-3, these two powerful soccer nations have met 32 times in total. The record from all of those meetings currently stands at 13 victories for England, 15 for Germany, with four ties. That gives Germany a slightly historical edge, ahead of their next clash at Euro 2020.

While friendly matches are included in those overall statistics, 11 of those games were classed as competitive encounters, meaning games that were part of qualifying for, and participating at, major tournaments. The balance in competitive games heavily favors the Germans, with 6 victories against 3 for the English.

Fascinatingly, the first of these competitive encounters was in the 1966 World Cup final, when England famously beat Germany 4-2 at the old Wembley Stadium. However, whenever the two sides have met in the latter stages of tournaments, it has usually ended in heartbreak for the English. In the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup, they were beaten in a penalty shootout by Germany, who went on to beat England through penalties again at Euro 1996.

Revenge & high-scoring blockbusters

England has managed to exact some revenge for those two semifinal defeats. At Euro 2000, England beat Germany 1-0, although somewhat embarrassingly for both nations, they were both eliminated in the group phase of the tournament. The next competitive clashes came during a qualifying match for the 2002 World Cup, with the two sides paired in the same group.

Germany wounded English pride with a 1-0 win away at Wembley Stadium, although the following year in September 2001, England was presented with an ideal opportunity for revenge. At the Olympiastadion in Munich, they ran riot with a thumping 5-1 victory against Germany, much to the stunned amazement of the local Bavarian crowd.

The last competitive encounter between the two fierce rivals was at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Both teams had safely navigated tricky group stages, before being paired in the Round of 16. At the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, the Germans finally exacted some revenge of their own, thrashing England 4-1 to eliminate them from the tournament.

Given such a rich history and the competitive nature of both nations, the next meeting at Euro 2020 promises to be an absolute blockbuster. This will be much more than just a game for England and Germany, so get ready for some fireworks.