England vs. Germany: Preview and Prediction for High-Profile Friendly

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15:  Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney of England look dejected as Alexis Sanchez of Chile (not pictured) scores their second goal during the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Germany travels to iconic Wembley Stadium to face England in a match that features two sides with extremely high World Cup expectations. The marquee friendly is the latest step in the preparations for next summer's tournament.

The Mannschaft are coming off another spotlight match, which saw them earn a 1-1 draw with Italy. Mats Hummels struck for Germany inside the first 10 minutes, but the normally potent attack struggled to generate chances after that point.

More importantly, the Germans lost midfielder Sami Khedira to an ACL injury. Ben Burrows of the Daily Mirror reports the Real Madrid star is expected to miss around six months, putting him in a race against time to get back to full strength for the World Cup.

Manager Joachim Low has no shortage of talented options to slide into the starting lineup from a very deep German player pool, but few have the versatility of Khedira. The friendly will serve as the first opportunity to test some alternatives.

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 15:  Sami Khedira (C) leaves the pitch after being injured during the International Friendly match between Italy and Germany at San Siro Stadium on November 15, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

On the flip side, England heads back to the pitch after a lackluster showing against Chile. Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez scored twice, while the Three Lions attack failed to generate consistent opportunities around goal in the 2-0 defeat.

It was England's first loss of the year, and the fact that it came after a successful qualifying campaign means fans shouldn't overreact. That said, a strong bounce-back performance against Germany would go a long way in putting the mundane showing against Chile in the past for good.

One player who will be squarely in the limelight during the friendly is Joe Hart. Once viewed as the answer to England's recent goalkeeping woes, the Manchester City star has displayed some disappointing club form during the first half of the campaign.

He remains the best option for the Three Lions moving forward, so manager Roy Hodgson must do everything in his power to instill some confidence in his keeper. Otherwise, he'll be a liability rather than an asset next summer. He should get tested by Germany to see how much work is left to do.

Elsewhere on the England squad, the friendly serves as a chance to shine for players looking to increase their roles heading into next year. Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Andros Townsend are all on the rise but are still working their way up the international ladder. These matches can help that process.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15:  Adam Lallana of England holds off Eugenio Mena of Chile during the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Germany will probably use more of a makeshift squad as Low begins the process of sorting out the logjam for roster spots. That said, the Mannschaft at less than full strength are still better than a large percentage of national squads around the globe.

Players like Sven Bender, Sidney Sam and Max Kruse would be key pieces for many teams but have received limited appearances with Germany. This clash is a chance for them to prove they deserve to get more involved moving forward.

Ultimately, the match won't feature the same intensity as a World Cup knockout round, where they could very well meet again. England should be the more desperate side after a poor showing against Chile, and that should be enough for the Three Lions to secure at least a draw.

Prediction: England 2, Germany 2