26 Jun 2010

World Cup: England awaits Germany showdown

For once England manager Fabio Capello has got a fully fit squad. Channel 4 News’s Keme Nzerem asks: will this be enough to avoid the dreaded penalty shoot-out against Germany later today?

The fans and the teams have been arriving in Bloemfontein over the weekend, ahead of the crucial game between England and Germany at 3pm today.

Manager Fabio Capello has all 23 players to choose from for his squad for the 3pm clash, and has also selected his first five penalty takers should the worst happen and a shoot out be required to decide the fixture.

Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner and Gareth Barry will step up.

Channel 4 News took to the streets of Bloemfontein to gauge England the mood of England fans ahead of the clash.

Despite Wayne Rooney’s somewhat lacklustre performance in the tournament so far, he was backed as the scorer tomorrow by most fans.

One fan’s prediction was typical of the general feeling in the England camp. He said: “Rooney’s World Cup starts here. Scores two, we win it 3-1 I’d give it.”

England is preparing for the big showdown against the old enemy, writes Keme Nzerem for Channel 4 News.

Fans have started to descend on Bloemfontein, and in so doing, draping the customary flags around the town centre.

Today, the gloves come off. Not for the main clash at the stadium: but for the fans' very own World Cup final.

The official fan clubs of the England team and the Germany team have dispensed with the 90 minute form of a normal game, and extra time, and have opted for the ultimate decider – a winner takes all penalty shoot-out at a local school ahead of the real deal at 3pm.

Perhaps the fans will throw their opponents a hex and overcome the curse that has so afflicted the English national team at the highest level.

In the World Cup, Germany have won all four of their penalty shoot-outs, scoring 17 out of 18 attempts. The only miss was back in 1982.

The statistics for the English do not bear thinking about. Let us hope it does not come to that.