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‘We’re all very tense’: England and Germany fans talk to RT Sport ahead of Wembley Euro 2020 showdown

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The walk down the steps and under the tunnel from Wembley Park station is usually an adrenaline rush long before kick-off on the days of the most innocuous England fixtures.

Four hours before the Three Lions’ epic rivalry with Germany resumes, it’s turbo-charged. No-one could fail to feel a chill down the spine.

“We know how lucky we are to have got tickets,” says Stef, one of a huddle of Germany fans sheltering from the rain under an arch at the bottom of the steps. “We are all feeling very tense.”

Germany are hoping for more joy at the expense of England at Wembley. © Reuters



She speaks for many, and tonight’s Euro 2020 match seems especially unpredictable in the long history of this grudge match.

Germany swept away reigning champions Portugal but would not have gravely worried England in losing to France and coming within 10 minutes of being knocked out by Hungary in the group stage.

“We don’t even know how we will play,” concedes Hugo, who’s wearing a Koln shirt for the occasion.

The group make their way towards the stadium, where patches of Die Mannschaft supporters are bouncing around in between huge English crowds roaring in unison and letting off flares.

England are looking for a rare win over the Germans at a major tournament. © Reuters



Fans make their way to Wembley ahead of the big game. © Reuters



“Everyone’s getting nervous,” says David, sporting a white 1990 World Cup shirt with the name of former playmaker Paul Gascoigne on the back.

“It’s a good sign. It’s good to be motivated before you go into battle. I’ve had about 10 messages about the team – so many that I couldn’t tell you – and, as I understand it, he’s going to play Saka.”

He’s talking about England’s breakthrough star of the tournament, 19-year-old Arsenal livewire Bukayo, who boss Gareth Southgate has taken a shine to despite protestations from some that the likes of Bundesliga sensation and England youngster Jadon Sancho is too talented to ignore any longer.

Saka scored his first goal for England leading up to the tournament. © Reuters



“We’ve got about six seriously scary attacking players to choose from, so we can use them if it goes to extra time,” reckons Keith, who cannot resist mentioning that he was there after spotting someone in a replica of the iconic red shirt England wore when they beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

“We’ve got firepower. I’d start Marcus Rashford instead of Harry Kane.”

To the right of the entrance, home fans have descended outside Wembley Arena. Red and white smoke spirals into the air as fans sing about Scotland, their other great enemies who had the audacity to secure a goalless draw at Wembley that spoiled England’s group stage, only to be ousted with a defeat at home to Croatia that was a shadow of that performance.

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England fans pictured at a match against Germany in Dortmund in 2017. © Reuters
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One heavyweight of European football will be joining them in an early exile from the finals tonight – and it would take a brave call to say which group of supporters will be heading out of here with thoughts of glory at these finals consigned to a forgotten dream.

By Ben Miller at Wembley



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