Michael Ballack is “convinced” Germany will beat England and taken aim at “ailing” Three Lions skipper Harry Kane.
Gareth Southgate’s side face their old rivals at Wembley on Tuesday night, with a place in the last eight of Euro 2020 up for grabs.
England navigated their way through their group without conceding a goal, winning two of their three games.
Germany meanwhile were left to sweat on their place in the knockout stages, scoring a late equaliser in their final Group F fixture vs Hungary to book their place.
They were also beaten by France in their opener, eventually settling for runners-up spot in the ‘Group of Death’.
Despite that, former Chelsea star Ballack is adamant the Germans will come out on top and outlined are a number of weaknesses they can expose.
“Despite the poor performance against Hungary, I am convinced that we will win against England,” Ballack told BILD.
“England have a top team and they have high standards for themselves because of the exceptional squad.
“Still, I don’t see us at a disadvantage. The performances shown by the English did not convince me.
“Your great strength: You haven’t conceded a goal yet. But there wasn’t much going forward. “
Kane is without a goal in the first three games of England’s campaign, with the team’s two strikes the lowest a team has ever recorded in winning a group in the competition.
What will be the final score when England face Germany at Wembley? Make your prediction here
“I’m surprised that he’s ailing on the pitch. Because Kane usually stands for goals,” the ex-Germany captain continued.
Ballack spent four seasons in English football and believes that the England team doesn’t have ‘the culture’ to chase the ball in midfield.
“I see the central midfield as a weak point, England does not have the culture and dominance that we do to dominate an opponent from midfield,” he said.
“That was also the key to success for us against Portugal,” he continued. “I think the back three against England is a good option.
“This strengthens the midfield and creates an advantage in that area, which in the end could mean more possession for us.
“The English don’t like to chase after the ball for a long time after the many games in the Premier League.
“It is important that we are dominant in the central midfield. Goretzka goes well with Toni Kroos. I think you need different types in midfield.
“He has a certain robustness, which is also in demand against England. The momentum with his goal against Hungary speaks for him.”
Germany have already knocked England out of a World Cup in 1990 and the Euros in 1996 and Ballack suggested that his compatriots could have a subconscious advantage.
He concluded: “The English don’t really like playing against Germany. And such statistics can ultimately play a decisive role in the subconscious. “