In a week when France went down 2-0 on aggregate against Ukraine and Portugal squeaked by Sweden, 1-0, heading into the second leg of the European World Cup playoffs, one of the most intriguing matches of the international break remains a friendly between Germany and England.
While neither team is at full strength, there is enough star power and history between these two European powers to make a mid-week friendly a premier matchup. Let's break down this contest.
When: Tuesday, November 19 at 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. GMT)
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Watch: Fox Sports 1; Fox Soccer 2Go
Germany won't have all of their regulars available and will put out a more "experimental" side, as Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer won't play in this match according to manager Joachim Loew (via ESPN).
Sami Khedira will also be missing in action for Germany—and won't appear for Real Madrid for the rest of the season—after tearing his ACL in a friendly against Italy.
Of course, this is a German side that still features Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, among others, so they'll roll out a competitive, talented starting 11.
Meanwhile, there might be a bit of bad blood in this contest despite the game simply being a friendly.
Germany's Andre Schurrle appeared to imply that England's best player, Wayne Rooney, wouldn't even crack Germany's starting lineup, noting (via ESPN) that "Rooney is a great player, but we have good quality, too, in every position, and maybe twice, so I don't know if he would play."
He later backtracked from those comments and said his meaning was not to suggest that Rooney wasn't good enough for Germany, but those shots may have already been fired.
And England will be getting a boost ahead of this contest, as in-form striker Daniel Sturridge appears to be fit. He'll add some extra firepower for this English team, potentially pairing with Rooney at forward.
England is also dealing with some injuries, namely on the wings where Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain unavailable. Thus, Sturridge could even potentially feature out wide in an effort to add his offensive threat to the lineup.
Neither one of these teams come into this game at full strength, but both are still rolling out talented enough squads to make this a must-watch friendly. England will obviously have an advantage playing in front of their home crowd, but this German side is insanely deep and will be a handful.
In the end, expect an equal and entertaining match that doesn't disappoint but also doesn't provide any bragging rights.
This one will end in a draw, 1-1.
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