England’s Sterling doubt to face Germany

Raheem Sterling in action for England

Raheem Sterling played the full 90 minutes in Manchester City’s games against Middlesbrough, Monaco and Liverpool over the past 10 days

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TEAM NEWS

Forward Raheem Sterling missed training on Tuesday and is a doubt for England’s friendly against Germany in Dortmund.

Gary Cahill will captain the Three Lions on Wednesday, while manager Gareth Southgate has decided against calling up a replacement for injured defender Phil Jones.

Former Arsenal attacker Lukas Podolski will captain Germany as he wins his 130th and final cap.

Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Mario Gomez and Manuel Neuer are all injured.

The fixture is Southgate’s first since being appointed on a permanent basis in November, following a four-game spell as caretaker which brought two wins and two draws.

England are without regular captain Wayne Rooney against the 2014 world champions, while Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge miss out through injury. That leaves Jermain Defoe, Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford as the only strikers in Southgate’s squad.

On Sunday, uncapped West Ham winger Michail Antonio – who has been playing in an advanced role for West Ham – withdrew because of a hamstring injury.

The trip to Germany is followed on Sunday by a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

Speaking about Sterling’s fitness concerns, Southgate said: “I’ve got to balance what is right for Wednesday and what is right for Sunday as well, so we’ll keep monitoring that.

“We are in a position where we haven’t been able to get all the players on the field until today and then you’ve got to see how they come through training.

“It’s a little bit later than we’d have liked but that’s the nature of it.”

Cahill will miss the Lithuania match because of suspension, and Southgate said he would consider whether to add an extra defender to his party to provide cover for when the squad return to England.

For Germany, the match against England is a chance to say goodbye to 31-year-old Galatasaray forward Podolski, who quit international football after Euro 2016 with 48 goals from 129 caps but returns for a farewell game.

Lukas Podolski<!–

Lukas Podolski needs to score twice in his farewell game to reach 50 international goals

“It’s not easy to replace Podolski in the team. He is unique. He is one of the greatest players that Germany has produced,” said boss Joachim Low.

Podolski, who won the 2014 World Cup with Germany, will join Japanese side Vissel Kobe after the Turkish season ends in May.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Germany have not lost back-to-back internationals against England since losing seven in a row between 1935 and 1966. (In the last five of these games between 1954 and 1966, they competed as West Germany).
  • England came from 2-0 down the last time they met Germany, winning 3-2 in Berlin in March 2016. Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier both scored their first international goals in the match.
  • Germany scored with both of their shots on target in that game.
  • Germany have lost their last three home matches against England on home soil – 5-1 in 2001, 2-1 in 2008 and 3-2 in 2016. Each of those wins were masterminded by a different English manager (Eriksson, Capello, Hodgson).
  • England have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last seven games against Germany.

Germany

  • Germany have lost just one of 18 games they have played in Dortmund, losing to Italy in the 2006 World Cup (W15 D2).
  • Joachim Low’s side have gone 558 minutes without conceding an international goal. Antoine Griezmann was the last player to score past them – in Euro 2016.

England

  • England have lost only one of their last 16 away internationals, against Spain in November 2015 (W9 D6).
  • Adam Lallana has scored in each of his last three internationals.
  • Jermain Defoe last won a cap in November 2013 against Chile.

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