England World Cup 2010 special: looking ahead to Germany game

At last, a World Cup 2010 finals performance to be proud of: lots of chances, dynamic forward play, excellent defending, so many positives. England have given themselves a platform but sterner tasks now lie ahead.

And of course it had to be Germany, didn’t it? The old enemy, beaten in 1966 and then triumphant against us in subsequent World Cup matches (1970 and 1990).

Already you can hear the echoes of past defeats – the Germans are a knock out team, they’ll probably take us to penalties again etc etc.

Isn’t it about time we went into a game against Germany thinking more about whether we can win rather than the inevitability of defeat? England may as well go home now if they choose the latter course.

Yes, they are good; Oezil in particular is a major threat, and in Khedira they have unearthed a youthful successor to Michael Ballack. But Lahm aside, is the defence really that sound?

It’s all set up for a gripping Sunday afternoon. I personally can’t wait.

Who will join England in the last 16?

World Cup predictions for today’s final Group E and Group F games featuring Holland, Italy and Denmark

Slovakia v Italy (Johannesburg) 3pm

Prediction: DRAW

Paraguay v New Zealand (Polokwane) 3pm

Prediction: Paraguay WIN

Denmark v Japan (Rustenburg) 7.30pm

Prediction: Denmark WIN

Cameroon v Netherlands (Cape Town) 7.30pm

Prediction: DRAW

The World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010 prediction success rate after yesterday’s games: 20/40 (50%)

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