'England will have to play as good as we’ve ever played to beat Germany' - Neville

Comments (0)
Phil Neville England 2019
The Lionesses' boss is under no illusions as to how hard Saturday's game, in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd, against arch-rivals Germany will be

Phil Neville believes England will have to give one of their best performances under his charge if they are to beat Germany on Saturday evening.

The Lionesses will play in front of a sold-out Wembley crowd on Saturday in a game which is set to break many records.

But the record Neville and his team are most focused on is the Germans’ unbeaten record on English soil, which includes a 3-0 win at Wembley in 2014, with the Lionesses’ only win over their European rivals coming in the 2015 Women’s World Cup bronze medal match.

“They are in a state of transition but they still maintain their spot – second in the world,” he said.

“They are Germans, they know what they are doing. They are consistent and that’s what you will see tomorrow.

“You will see a team that won’t fold. You will see a team that will be disciplined, a team that won’t be scared of that occasion and we will have to play probably as good as we’ve ever played under me to get that win tomorrow.”

Germany had a disappointing summer, crashing out in the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Sweden .

But with more time under new boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg since, who only took over after they sealed qualification to the tournament, and star player Dzsenifer Marozsan back to fitness after an injury in France, Neville believes they have been a different team over the last few months.

“They have scored 31 goals in the last four games haven’t they? Albeit they have played some pretty good games,” he said.

“I thought they missed Marozsan massively in the World Cup.

“I’ve got to say, if she would have been fit like we know her then they could have easily got to the final instead of the Netherlands – I think they would have beat Sweden.

“I think that was a big loss for them at the World Cup.

“My second game was against them and since then no one has really spoken about them.

“They’ve changed the coach, changed a little bit of the system - they’ve got, probably three or four different systems that could play at any given time tomorrow.”

Alex Popp Turid Knaak Germany 2019

Neville has his own experiences of beating Germany to draw on too.

As a player with England, the 42-year-old played them twice – beating them at Euro 2000 while he also played a part in the famous 5-1 win in Munich one year later.

“The game in Charleroi [Euro 2000] was my first experience of the rivalry between both countries,” he recalled.

“We had Kevin Keegan as a manager, who obviously played in Hamburg and knew about the rivalry and it was the supporters really.

“When you come into these types of games, it’s the fans that remember the rivalry.”

There are expected to be more than 80,000 of those fans at Wembley tomorrow to add another element to this rivalry – one that Germany lead by some way, with 20 wins and just one defeat from their 25 meetings with the Lionesses.

Article continues below

That’s not to say the rivalry is lost among the players though, either.

“I was in Lyon last week and obviously Marozsan was there, and you see that this is the game that they want to play in,” Neville added.

“They obviously want us to go out to Germany at some point and play because I think England vs Germany is still one of the biggest and best fixtures on the calendar.”