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England v Germany

James: Germany just another game

June 25, 2010
By Soccernet staff

England goalkeeper David James insists that Sunday's eagerly anticipated knock-out clash with old rivals Germany in Bloemfontein is "just another football match".

David James talks to the press
GettyImagesDavid James talks to the press

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England have a long history of high-profile clashes with the Germans at major tournaments, often coming off second best, and there will be a place in the World Cup quarter-finals at stake when the two teams meet at the Free State Stadium.

But despite the headline-grabbing nature of the match, James is paying little attention to all the hype.

"It's another football match," James said. "Obviously there'll be a lot of external references and whatever else, historical references. But for us it's a game against a decent outfit - one we have to win to progress."

Wednesday's 1-0 win over Slovenia secured England's place in the knockout phase, but Landon Donovan's stoppage-time winner for USA against Algeria meant Capello's side finished second in Group C and face Group D winners Germany rather than runners-up Ghana.

The outcome left England in a tough quarter of the draw, with Argentina potential semi-final opponents, but James is not concerned about what might have been.

"We can't do anything about what happened," he said. "We look back at the America game and the performance of Tim Howard which prevented a win.

"Algeria are very difficult to score against, and then we did what we needed to against Slovenia on Wednesday."

James is prepared for the possibility of facing penalties against Germany - just as England had to in the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup and Euro '96 - but is hoping it does not go that far.

"The intention for us is to win the game in 90 minutes," he said. "If it requires extra time and then if it goes to penalties, there's an opportunity for Germany to miss so we're ready.

"Germany are a decent outfit but we've got the confidence of having gone to Berlin a couple of years ago and beaten them 2-1."

James added: "I'm delighted for England as a nation that we've got a chance to play Germany. It gives everyone at home the opportunity to enjoy a great football match."