Germany v England - Key battles
Published : 27 Jun 2010 07:59:45
With England's huge game against Germany almost upon us, football.co.uk takes a look at three of the key battles which could decide who progresses through to the World Cup quarter-finals.
Wayne Rooney v Per Mertesacker
Arguably the most important confrontation on Sunday afternoon sees England talisman Wayne Rooney come up against experienced central defender Per Mertesacker. The Werder Bremen man is famed for his positional sense and ability to read the game, but he will have to be at his best when he faces Rooney - a player with something to prove after three indifferent performances in the group stage.
If Wazza can recapture his club form of last season in Bloemfontein, then Mertesacker and co won't stand a chance.
Winner: Wayne Rooney
Gareth Barry v Mesut Ozil
Another intriguing battle will see one of the players of the tournament so far face a man with just two competitive games under his belt since early May. Gareth Barry was forced to miss England's opening game with the United States but has since made the midfield holding role his own after starting the last two group games.
The Manchester City man will come up against exciting young attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil, who scored a fabulous long-range effort against Ghana to seal Germany's place as group winners. Ozil's pace and trickery could cause Barry and the English back-four a major problem.
Winner: Mesut Ozil
John Terry v Miroslav Klose
Former captain Terry was in excellent form against Slovenia on Wednesday, showing leadership and ability in equal measure. But he faces a much more difficult challenge this weekend as he comes up against prolific Bayern Munich front-man Miroslav Klose.
Klose scored in the Germans 4-0 win over Australia but was then sent-off against Serbia which caused him to miss their final group fixture. He won't worry JT for pace, but will provide a tough aerial test for the Chelsea skipper.
Winner: John Terry