Banks anticipates feisty 'friendly'
Gordon Banks, the man who kept goal in England's famous World Cup win over Germany, predicts Tuesday night's game against the Germans will be anything but a friendly.
The latest chapter in England's long-running rivalry with Germany will be written this week when Joachim Low's squad come to Wembley for what is officially billed as an international friendly.
As well as that famous World Cup final triumph, Banks played two friendly games against Germany - or West Germany as they were then known - in the build up to England's triumph in 1966.
Banks recalls the friendlies as feisty affairs and he reckons that will also be the case when Low brings his team to London on Tuesday.
"Germany is always a good test for our team and mark my words it is never a friendly against Germany," said the 75-year-old, speaking in his role as Football Pools ambassador.
"Germany has always been a big rival of ours and that dates back to the beginning of the last century."
Banks has the most successful record of any English goalkeeper against Germany, keeping three clean sheets against Die Mannschaft in 1965, '66 and '72.
The former Leicester and Stoke goalkeeper, who earned 73 caps for his country, recalls recent encounters with Germany with sadness.
"Fans today remember all the heartaches that Germany have inflicted over the last 20 years or so," he added.
"We lost our last ever game at the old Wembley Stadium, 1-0 to a Dietmar Hamann goal which saw Kevin Keegan resign as the manager.
"Then there were two penalty shootout defeats in a row, 1990 and Gazza's tears, and 1996 - when they again defeated us at Wembley in a match we should have won if Gazza had stretched the other leg out!
"So really the only victory we have had recently over the German's was the 5-1 result in Munich, but remember they avenged that result by beating us convincingly in the last World Cup 4-1 with a brand of football we are still trying to replicate."
England fans are down after the 2-0 defeat to Chile last week, but Banks hopes Roy Hodgson's men pull off a shock win to give themselves a big psychological boost going in to the World Cup.
"On Tuesday it is important that we put on a decent performance and get the right result - which will help further build confidence ahead of next year's World Cup," Banks said.
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