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27/06/2010 / John Hanna

Germany v England

Even though a ‘psychic’ octopus reckons Germany will beat England, it’s clear that this match will be anything but certain.

Whatever happens, it’s destined to be a day that none of us will ever forget. In 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, people will talk about the time Germany and England met in the World Cup in Bloemfontein. History is about to be written, legends are about to be born.

This is what Bill Shankly said about football:

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.

~ Bill Shankly

Shankly’s view isn’t unusual, especially in the midst of a World Cup. As it has been reported that this football match of 22 men could led to an economic slump, a rise in domestic violence or a World Cup win.

It’s not surprising that a football match could have such a great effect on the nation in this changeable world. However Christians know of God’s Immutability. This attribute means that God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, although as he acts in response to different situations he feels emotions.

Scripture backs this up: “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6; for “being,” cf. Ps. 102:25–27Mal. 3:6James 1:17; for “purposes,” cf. Ps. 33:11Isa. 46:9–11; for “promises,” cf. Num. 23:19Rom. 11:29).

The implication of which is that God can always be trusted because he always keeps his word, and is never capricious or moody.

God is unchanging in a world were a football can change a nation.

Here’s some match facts in preparation for the match:

Head-to-head:

  • This is the fifth World Cup meeting between the sides. England have won once (1966), Germany have won once (1970) and there have been two draws (1982 and 1990).
  • Overall they have played 27 times: England have won 12 matches and Germany 10.
  • England and Germany are the only teams at the World Cup with 23-man squads that all play their club football in their domestic league.
  • Emile Heskey is the only player in the England squad to have scored a goal in the knockout stages of a World Cup. Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose have done the same for Germany.
  • Bloemfontein is the 13th city that the two sides have played each other at.

Germany:

  • Germany have never gone more than 20 years between winning World Cups – their last victory was in 1990.
  • They have reached the last eight in every World Cup they have competed in, except in 1938, when they were eliminated in the last 16 by Switzerland.
  • Germany have the best record in penalty shoot-outs in the World Cup – winning all four previous attempts against France (1982), Mexico (1986), England (1990) and Argentina (2006). They have scored 17 of 18 penalties in shootouts, including their last 14 in a row since Uli Stielike’s miss in 1982.
  • Miroslav Klose is one short of 50 goals for his country.

England:

  • Rooney has failed to score in his last eight internationals. He has gone over 11 hours (711 minutes, excluding added time) since scoring against Croatia in September, his worst run for England.
  • They are unbeaten in their last eight World Cup matches, excluding penalty shootouts, their best ever run in the tournament (beating their seven-game unbeaten run between 1966 and 1970).
  • England have the worst record in penalty shootouts at the World Cup – losing all three previous attempts against West Germany (1990), Argentina (1998) and Portugal (2006). They have scored seven and missed seven of their previous 14 penalties.

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