My Soccer World

Football: Rising Stars Set To Shine For Both England And Germany

Posted on: November 19, 2008

BERLIN : With both teams top of their World Cup qualifying groups, respective coaches Joachim Loew and Fabio Capello believe Wednesday night’s Germany-England friendly here is a chance to put some new talent in the spotlight.

A host of big names will be missing at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but rising stars from both countries will be given their chance to shine.

Germany are without household names Michael Ballack, Philipp Lahm and Torsten Frings, while England are shorn of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and David Beckham.

But with the goal of reaching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa burning for both sides, this is a rare chance for the coaches to see how the younger members of their squads cope with such a prestigious tie.

“You don’t have to talk England up as a strong side, they are always strong, regardless of injuries,” said Loew.

“They are undefeated in World Cup quailifiers and that speaks for itself.

“We are going to use this game to experiment, as far as the friendly games are concerned we have been successful, so this is the time to try things out.”

Hoffenheim’s dramatic success in the Bundesliga has put them second in the table on their debut season leading to uncapped defender Marvin Compper and midfielder Tobias Weis being called up by Loew.

And Wolfsburg defender Marcel Schaefer has also been promoted.

All three were no more than fans even as recently as June’s Euro 2008 and are desperate to impress.

Likewise Loew’s opposite number Capello has said he will use the high-profile occasion to see how some of England’s young squad cope in the limelight.

Capello has picked five players who are still eligible for Under-21 duty and could hand debuts to Aston Villa pair Gabriel Agbonlahor and Curtis Davies, plus Chelsea’s 20-year-old defender Michael Macienne.

The Italian says he will risk only a maximum of two of the rookies in the game, but the absence of stars allows him to use the match to get a feel for his next generation of talent.

This will be the 31st duel between die Mannschaft and the Three Lions with the English winning 14 matches while Germany have only ten victories.

Germany won the last encounter in London in August 2007 when Kevin Kuranyi and Christian Pander scored for Germany to seal a 2-1 victory in a friendly to unveil the new Wembley stadium.

England striker Darren Bent insists his side are under no pressure this time because of their fine start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign with four wins out of four.

“Because of how the boys have done in qualifying, the pressure is off,” the Tottenham striker told a news conference on Monday.

And Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick summed up the feelings of a number of young players looking to seize their chance to shine.

“To play for your country is a massive honour,” said the 27-year-old.

“It’s not a meaningless friendly – Germany versus England at any level is a huge game.

“I’m desperate to be part of the England squad and desperate to play.

“As a kid, it’s what you dream of.

“It wasn’t the case of taking it or leaving it.”

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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