Ahead of the crunch fixture between England and Germany at Wembley on Tuesday, Dietmar Hamann is of the opinion that the pragmatic Germans will able to park the hype and get the job done against the Three Lions.
The two sides will meet for the 8th time at a major tournament and there are high hopes that the game will add to the remarkable drama that has been experienced in the competition thus far.
Hamann believes that England coach Gareth Southgate will play it safe and that it’s a decision that would favor the Germans. He made this known in a chat with RTE’s Morning Ireland.
“The English have not been the most adventurous,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“We were in one [game] against Portugal so I hope we haven’t used up all our goals up yet and we’ll see a few tonight!
“It remains to be seen how they play. I read in some of the papers that Jack Grealish may not play, that Southgate may revert to a back five, and almost play with six or seven defensive players.
“Southgate has been very cautious – and to an extent negative – in his approach. Grealish has been so good. If he doesn’t play I think it will enhance Germany’s chances of beating them.
“I’m quietly confident. Usually when the chips are down the boys get the job done. It’s a big ask at Wembley. There’s 40 or 50,000 fans in the stadium for the first time. We know the English have very good players going forward. I think the longer the game goes on, the better our chance will be.”
Any side that comes out top will face Sweden or Ukraine in a supposedly easy fixture on paper. Regardless, events in the R16 games that have been played have shown that no opponent should be underrated.
“If you read the English media, you’d think they were going to play the final tonight,” he added.
“Our approach is a bit more pragmatic and a bit more laid back because we know that even if we beat England we’ve got another three games to win to lift the European Championship.
“There’s every chance that whoever wins tonight will go to the final but don’t underestimate the other teams because as we’ve seen with Denmark, with Switzerland, it doesn’t really matter in the group stages. This is a different tournament now. Nobody is interested when the game kicks off at 5pm how you got there.
“It’s been a tremendous tournament so far. I think it’ll only get better.”