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FOOTBALL

New talent will shine in England friendly

With both teams top of their World Cup qualifying groups, respective coaches Joachim Löw and Fabio Capello believe Wednesday night's Germany-England friendly here is a chance to put some new talent in the spotlight.

New talent will shine in England friendly
The boys warm up on Monday. Photo: DPA

A host of big names will be missing at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but rising stars from both countries will be given their chance to shine.

Germany are without household names Michael Ballack, Philipp Lahm and Torsten Frings, while England are shorn of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and David Beckham.

But with the goal of reaching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa burning for both sides, this is a rare chance for the coaches to see how the younger members of their squads cope with such a prestigious tie.

“You don’t have to talk England up as a strong side, they are always strong, regardless of injuries,” said Löw.

“They are undefeated in World Cup quailifiers and that speaks for itself. We are going to use this game to experiment, as far as the friendly games are concerned we have been successful, so this is the time to try things out.”

Hoffenheim’s dramatic success in the Bundesliga has put them second in the table on their debut season leading to uncapped defender Marvin Compper and midfielder Tobias Weis being called up by Löw.

And Wolfsburg defender Marcel Schaefer has also been promoted.

All three were no more than fans even as recently as June’s Euro 2008 and are desperate to impress.

Likewise Löw ‘s opposite number Capello has said he will use the high-profile occasion to see how some of England’s young squad cope in the limelight.

Capello has picked five players who are still eligible for Under-21 duty and could hand debuts to Aston Villa pair Gabriel Agbonlahor and Curtis Davies, plus Chelsea’s 20-year-old defender Michael Macienne.

The Italian says he will risk only a maximum of two of the rookies in the game, but the absence of stars allows him to use the match to get a feel for his next generation of talent.

This will be the 31st duel between die Mannschaft and the Three Lions with the English winning 14 matches while Germany have only ten victories.

Germany won the last encounter in London in August 2007 when Kevin Kuranyi and Christian Pander scored for Germany to seal a 2-1 victory in a friendly to unveil the new Wembley stadium.

England striker Darren Bent insists his side are under no pressure this time because of their fine start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign with four wins out of four.

“Because of how the boys have done in qualifying, the pressure is off,” the Tottenham striker told a news conference on Monday.

And Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick summed up the feelings of a number of young players looking to seize their chance to shine.

“To play for your country is a massive honour,” said the 27-year-old.

“It’s not a meaningless friendly – Germany versus England at any level is a huge game. I’m desperate to be part of the England squad and desperate to play. As a kid, it’s what you dream of. It wasn’t the case of taking it or leaving it.”

FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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