Still, a match between the two historic rivals that serves as useful preparation for next summer’s World Cup finals will be a keenly contested affair nonetheless, with a number of key tussles playing out across the pitch.
Here we identify the five individual battles which could define the game.
For our predicted XIs (England have already named theirs), see the graphic at the bottom of the page...
Kroos, rather like Gerrard earlier in his career, has a reputation for excelling in a number of positions and he is arguably one of the most complete midfielders in European football at present. The Bayern Munich star will play alongside Sven Bender in a deeper role in midfield, though he is perhaps at his most dangerous when playing in behind the striker, and if Gerrard – who will have little defensive help from Tom Cleverley – fails to shut him down then Kroos could very well run the game from the centre of the Wembley pitch.
The 23-year-old is astonishingly proficient in possession – completing 345 of 355 passes in the Champions League this season, or 97.2 per cent - and blends technical brilliance with an intelligent and mature approach to the game. We were given a glimpse into Gerrard’s decline when Arsenal ran rings around him at the start of the month and though he is not yet a spent force at club or international level, Kroos is very much the future, and Gerrard the past.
2. Wayne Rooney v Sven BenderPhilipp Lahm’s Pep Guardiola-inspired move to midfield continues for the national side having played upfield against the Azzurri. Bender, 24, is an authentic holding midfielder who performs a vital role for his club in intercepting opposition passes and launching the counter-attacks for which Dortmund are so famous.
He will have a similar brief for Germany, who also like to counter-attack with speed and precision, but while patrolling the deep he will also come up against Rooney, who has been by far England’s best player in the Hodgson era with 10 goals in 13 appearances. Rooney's best work has arguably come when playing off a striker, as he will do with Daniel Sturridge on Tuesday, and when he comes deep to link up play and orchestrate the attack he regularly does damage. If Bender allows him to drift in behind and enjoy space in between the lines then Germany could suffer.
This puts him in direct opposition with Walker, who will be winning his 10th cap for England. The Tottenham defender ended the qualification campaign as his country’s first choice right-back thanks to an injury to Glen Johnson and now faces a huge test in nullifying Reus, who will gleefully exploit any space left in behind. Walker’s strengths lie in his attacking contributions and he remains vulnerable on the back foot, so the Spurs defender could well be found out by one of Europe’s best wide forwards. Threat level: critical.
4. Andros Townsend v Marcel Schmelzer
Townsend announced himself in spectacular fashion with a sensational debut goal against Montenegro in England’s penultimate World Cup qualifier and followed that up with another bright display against Poland. However, Germany will be another test entirely and Schmelzer – who continues to improve – will spot a real chance to demonstrate to Loew that he can be relied upon should Lahm move into midfield for the long-term. The Dortmund left-back will hope to expose Townsend as a one-trick pony.
5. Daniel Sturridge v Mats Hummels
Per Mertesacker has been one of England’s best defenders this season – a man mountain who has been ultra-reliable for Arsenal and helped contain Sturridge in the league earlier this month – so Sturridge could get more joy off fellow centre-back Hummels. Though few defenders in world football are as confident with the ball at their feet, either feeding the midfield or dinking long balls over the top, Hummels has never shaken the suspicion that he is too vulnerable to individual errors and his mistakes can be exploited. If Sturridge can get the better of him then England could profit.
Predicted teams (England's has been confirmed by Roy Hodgson):
- Sports & Recreation
- Sven Bender
- Steven Gerrard
- Daniel Sturridge