England v Germany talking points

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England face Germany at Wembley on Friday in what is a first friendly for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions since qualifying for next summer’s World Cup.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some talking points ahead of the game.

Who will play for England?

Ruben Loftus-Cheek trains with England
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is in line to make his England debut against Germany (Mike Egerton, PA)

Who will captain the hosts?

As well as Kane, Jordan Henderson is also among the players to have withdrawn from the squad, and Gary Cahill sat out training on Thursday. While Joe Hart is fit and, like that trio, has had the captain’s armband before, there appears a good chance of a player skippering England for the first time on Friday.

Poppy armbands

Something that is certain is that all the players, on both sides, will be wearing armbands bearing the image of the poppy in remembrance of members of the armed forces. FIFA fined England – and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – last year for displaying the poppy as part of the Armistice Day commemorations as it was deemed a political symbol, but there will be no such sanctions this time around following the International Football Association Board’s clarification on the relevant law in September.

England’s fans

The last meeting between the teams in Dortmund in March was tarnished by what was heard from some England fans, with the German national anthem being booed and distasteful songs about the First and Second World Wars sung. Southgate has made clear his hope that there is no repeat on Friday of behaviour he described as “totally unacceptable”.


The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be in operation for the first time in an official game in the UK during the clash at Wembley, as part of an ongoing trial. The system sees VARs, watching a game on television screens, being available to review four types of situation: goals, penalty/no penalty decisions, straight red cards, and cases of mistaken identity. A match between England and Germany seems an apt choice of fixture given the controversies of the 1966 World Cup final and their meeting in the last 16 of the 2010 competition.

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