With world championsbeing stunned by Switzerland and Holland brushed aside by Czech Republic, the route to the Euro 2020 final has suddenly opened up for England.
Win on Tuesday and Gareth Southgate and his players know one ofor and then one of Czech Republic or Denmark would stand between them and the crunch at Wembley on July 11.
But they have to get past old rivalsfirst and Southgate has a number of selection and tactical headaches to cure.
The England boss looks set to pick a three-man defence featuring Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker. Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw are primed for wing-back roles either side of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice in midfield while Harry Kane is likely to be supported by Raheem Sterling and one of Bukayo Saka or Phil Foden. But the final team is still to be confirmed.
Sportsmail’s experts have given the line-up they would go with, the formation they would use and, should it go to penalties, the five men they want to see stepping up to send England through.
Raheem Sterling has scored all of England’s goals at Euro 2020 heading into the last-16, where they face old rivals Germany at Wembley on Tuesday evening
Manager Gareth Southgate (right) faces a number of selection and tactical dilemmas
(3-4-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Rice, Mount, Shaw; Foden, Kane, Sterling
This is the game to go with three at the back given how Germany set up.
Kalvin Phillips can be considered particularly unfortunate to miss out but if Mason Mount’s ready then he has to start centrally in a midfield four.
Mount offers an injection of pace to break lines over five yards against Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan.
Phil Foden is the most naturally gifted footballer at England’s disposal and Raheem Sterling has been the side’s major threat.
Big responsibility lies on Kyle Walker’s concentration levels and covering the marauding Robin Gosens, while Kieran Trippier or Reece James is a toss-up.
Penalties: Kane, Grealish, Foden, Trippier, Rashford
Phil Foden is among England’s most gifted technical players and is looking to restore his spot
(5-3-2): Pickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Phillips, Henderson, Mount; Kane, Sterling
Keep it as close to the World Cup side and formation as possible.
Phil Foden and Jack Grealish can come on and throw grenades later on as the Italian substitutes did against Austria.
Having Sterling closer to Kane will disturb Hummels and the German defence.
Penalties: Kane, Trippier, Mount, Rashford, Grealish
Jordan Henderson would provide some welcome experience in the midfield in such a big tie
(4-3-3): Pickford; James, Stones, Mings, Shaw; Grealish, Phillips, Mount; Foden, Kane, Sterling
I would play Reece James, England’s best right back from a defensive perspective, to combat the threat of Robin Gosens down the left. At centre-back, I still worry about Harry Maguire’s fitness and would not take a chance on him.
I have long been of the opinion that only one of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips is needed in the team. Pick one and play them in the holding role with two runners either side.
I’d go with Phillips because of what he gives you in terms of dropping balls in behind a Germany defence that is vulnerable.
Jack Grealish, for me, has to play, and I would show ambition to attack by putting Mason Mount to the left of Phillips.
I think the front three picks itself, but Phil Foden needs to do more to justify prolonged inclusion, while Raheem Sterling’s two goals keep him in the side.
As for penalty takers, I don’t think England are blessed with an obvious five. But two players who may not start – but need to be on the pitch come the end of 120 minutes – are Marcus Rashford and Kieran Trippier.
Penalties: Kane, Rashford, Grealish, Foden, Trippier
Reece James has risen to prominence at Chelsea and is in contention to start at right back
Selecting Jack Grealish (left) against Germany at Wembley is essential for many observers
(4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier; Rice, Foden, Henderson; Saka, Kane, Sterling
Definitely 4-3-3 rather than 4-2-3-1 meaning Foden would have to rein himself in a bit.
But I fear for creativity in midfield without either him or Mount and the game probably is too soon for Mount following self-isolation.
Trippier needs to be on the pitch for set pieces, even though you lose something as a right-footed left back.
Saka deserves his chance. Grealish to be used as an impact sub.
Penalties: Kane, Maguire, Trippier, Foden, Pickford
(If they still have subs left as 120mins approaches, I would sub on Rashford, Mount, Calvert-Lewin)
Jordan Pickford is being considered as one of England’s penalty takers should he be needed
There is a good argument for restoring Kieran Trippier at left back, where he played vs Croatia
(3-5-2): Pickford; Stones, Maguire, Mings; Walker, Bellingham, Phillips, Mount, Chilwell; Kane, Sterling.
Time to return to the formula that served England so well in Russia 2018.
I have a feeling Germany may pick an extra midfielder in Leon Goretzka and if that is the case, England must go 3 v 3 in the middle.
Ben Chilwell was outstanding in the Champions League final and should get the nod over Kieran Trippier because he is naturally a left-sided player.
Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount provide a blend of energy and technique either side of Kalvin Phillips, with Declan Rice’s safety-first game too limited for a match of this size.
Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling dovetailed well three years ago and can do so again.
Penalties: Kane, Mount, Rashford, Pickford, Trippier
Ben Chilwell (left) and Mason Mount (right) have been isolating and training alone since being established as close contacts of Covid-positive Scotland midfield Billy Gilmour, but both are pushing for selection against Germany. Chilwell has so far failed to feature at the tournament
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