Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

England set for Germany showdown

England are hoping to make their country proud as they gear up for a World Cup clash with Germany

England are hoping to make their country proud as they gear up for a World Cup clash with arch rivals Germany.

Princes William and Harry were among those wishing the team well in Bloemfontein.

Harry said: "As long as our guys do their best, the country will be hugely proud of them."

And William, the president of the Football Association, has also sent a good luck message to the team.

The players were given a huge boost by their 1-0 win against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

And on Saturday night skipper Steven Gerrard said the mood among the players is good, adding: "We will do whatever it takes to get across the line into the last eight."

Nervous fans fear a repeat of the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96 semi-finals when England lost to Germany on penalties.

But the team has been practicing every day and Gerrard said: "If we have to go to extra-time and penalties, we will be ready."

Up to 15,000 travelling fans will converge on the "City of Roses" for the most anticipated match of the World Cup so far.

Supporters have scrambled to swap tickets and arrange transport after the team finished a surprising second in the group. Most had anticipated a return to the small mining town of Rustenburg for the last 16 match and were forced into a hasty change of plan. The majority of fans will travel back and forth on the day of the match, many taking the five-hour bus ride from Johannesburg.

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