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England out to avoid equalling 41-year-old record against Germany

England out to avoid equalling 41-year-old record against Germany

England will be out to avoid equalling an unwanted 41-year-old record when they welcome Germany to Wembley for Monday’s UEFA Nations League finale.

The Three Lions will only be playing for pride in front of their own fans after suffering a dismal relegation from League A Group 3 with last week’s 1-0 loss to Italy.

Giacomo Raspadori struck the second-half winner which condemned England to life in League B for the 2024-25 tournament, and Gareth Southgate‘s side are yet to win in the current edition.

A host of displeasing feats were matched or broken at San Siro last week, and another piece of unwanted history could be written when Die Mannschaft pay a visit to London.

England’s only goal in the 2022-23 Nations League so far came against Monday’s opponents in June, with Harry Kane scoring an 88th-minute spot kick to rescue a 1-1 draw.

England manager Gareth Southgate on September 23, 2022© Reuters

Since then, the Three Lions have failed to score against Italy on two occasions and Hungary, marking the first time since 2000 that they have gone three games without a goal.

Should England fail to find the back of the net on Monday, they will have gone four successive matches without finding the back of the net for just the second time in their history.

The only previous such streak came all the way back in 1981, where the Three Lions were pacified against Romania, Brazil, Wales and Scotland between April and May.

Terry McDermott ended England’s barren run that year with a consolation in a 2-1 defeat to Switzerland, and the Three Lions are still waiting for their first non-penalty goal in the Nations League.

Only San Marino – the 211th and worst-ranked team in the world – have also failed to score a non-penalty goal in the current Nations League campaign, and the Euro 2020 runners-up are also at risk of going six games without a win for the first time since 1993.

Trent Alexander-Arnold in action for Liverpool on September 13, 2022© Reuters

Manager Southgate signed a new contract with England until 2024 last year, but the 52-year-old accepts that his job will be in jeopardy if the Three Lions perform badly at the World Cup.

“I am not foolish – my sole focus at the moment is to get the team right for tomorrow and then we are focusing on a good performance and a good result,” Southgate told reporters ahead of Monday’s game.

“But I know ultimately I will be judged on what happens at that World Cup. Contracts are irrelevant in football because managers can have three, four, five-year contracts and you accept that if results are not good enough it is time to go your separate ways.

“Why would I be any different? I am not arrogant enough to think that my contract is going to protect me in any way. I am realistic about that and I will be judged on what we do in Qatar and I am perfectly happy to be judged in that way. History is history and you are judged on the next match and the next tournament.”

Southgate has chosen to leave Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fikayo Tomori, Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse out of his squad for the visit of Germany, while Jack Grealish is suspended.

However, Jordan Henderson, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Ben Chilwell and Ivan Toney – who is hoping to make his senior international debut for England – have all made the cut.

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