Declan Rice: England have nothing to fear against Germany

After finishing top of their group, England have set up a mouth-watering round-of-16 clash against Germany, which will take place at Wembley on Tuesday.

Declan Rice celebrates England's opening victory at Euro 2020; Credit: [email protected]_DeclanRice

England’s holding midfielder Declan Rice has asserted that there is nothing to fear about their last-16 opponents Germany in Euro 2020. Rice remains confident that they will “step it up” in the knockout stages. Gareth Southgate’s side emerged as the Group D winners, while Germany finished second in Group F. The Three Lions topped their group with two narrow victories against Croatia and the Czech Republic on either side of a goalless draw against Scotland. On plus side, England are yet to concede in the tournament, however, they have scored only twice and both goals have come from Raheem Sterling. Hence, question marks are still looming over their attacking play.

On Tuesday, England take on Group F runners-up Germany at Wembley. It is the first time they are meeting at a major tournament since the 2010 World Cup. Back then, Germany beat England 4-1 in the round-of-16. Joachim Low’s gifted young side were far superior that day. Eleven years later, they meet again and this time West Ham midfielder Rice, who started all of England’s Euro 2020 group stage matches, asserted that confidence is high in the national camp.

“What’s there to fear really? Obviously, yeah they’re great players, but it’s a game of football,” Rice was quoted as saying by “It’s 90 minutes – we have got players that can win us games and they’ve got players that can win them games as well. It’s going to be a real battle out there but one that we’re going to be up for and we’re really positive and ready for.”

‘We are not worried’

England’s total of two goals is the least scored by any team remaining in the last 16 of the competition. The midfielder, however, is confident that they will improve in that department as the tournament progresses on. “We are not worried,” he said.

“It’s two goals – we know as a team we can score more, especially with the world-class talent we have got, but that will come, I’m sure that will come in the next couple of rounds. As the tournament progresses now I feel like we are really going to step it up.”

On Mount and Chilwell

Before their final group game, England suffered a major setback as Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were forced to isolate themselves. After England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday, Mount and Chilwell interacted with club teammate Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for COVID-19. “[Mount and Chilwell] must isolate up to and including next Monday, June 28. The decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England,” an FA statement read on Tuesday.

Mount has started both of the team’s group matches, whereas left-back Chilwell is yet to play in the tournament. The West Ham midfielder has given an update about their situation. “I spoke to him yesterday [Thursday] – he tested negative again,” Rice said of his former Chelsea academy teammate.

“He’s been keeping himself fit in the room I think as well by doing the bike and what not, but hopefully we can have him out I think maybe tomorrow or the next day, obviously with the negative test. So that would be a massive boost, and obviously having Chilwell back as well, that would be a positive boost for us as well.”

Sportslumo Desk

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