Kyle Walker knows it is time for England to “go and deliver” on the big stage by putting in a fearless display in the Euro 2020 knockout clash with Germany.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions take on Die Mannschaft under the Wembley arch on Tuesday, when a partisan crowd in excess of 40,000 will be roaring the hosts on in the last-16 encounter.
Anticipation is building as England look to win just their second ever European Championship knockout match, five years on from embarrassingly bowing out at this stage to Iceland.
Walker is among just three survivors from the side that started the last-16 humiliation in Nice and the 2018 World Cup semi-finalist is ready for the threat posed by Germany.
“Obviously it’s been a long six days,” he said. “A long six days where we’ve had a good time to prepare and everything for the game, so it’s a big stage tomorrow. We need to go and deliver.
“Listen, the Germans are a good team with good players in key areas.
“We know that so we’ve done a lot of research, looked at where their weaknesses are and where we can strengthen our game and really capitalise on that.”
England. Germany. @wembleystadium.
Who's looking forward to this one? 🙌 pic.twitter.com/LzcfhdDf7a
— England (@England) June 24, 2021
England head into this match as Group D winners, with 1-0 victories against Croatia and the Czech Republic coming either side of the 0-0 draw with Scotland.
Southgate’s side are undefeated and have yet to concede but Walker knows they need to start scoring, saying “hopefully we’ve been saving that for the Germans tomorrow”.
“It went through obviously the camp and everything,” the full-back said of the moment Germany were confirmed as England’s opponents.
“We have a WhatsApp group where the lads were texting but whoever we face, we can’t be scared.
“We can’t be scared of anyone with the team that we’ve got here, with what we’ve achieved over the last couple of years.
“You know, people should be worried of us but let’s not get arrogant, let’s not get too overconfident.
“Play with a little bit of arrogance, that’s what you need in these tough games, but keep our feet firmly on the ground and just prepare as we have done and hopefully that will keep us in good stead.”
Walker also believes coming up against familiar faces will help, from Manchester City team-mate Ilkay Gundogan to the Chelsea duo of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
“It gives you that little bit of knowledge that you need when you’re coming up against these world-class players that they are,” he told the Lions’ Den.
“Obviously I play with Gundo at Manchester City so I know what he’s about. I know what his strengths, his weaknesses are.
“I played against a lot of them in the Champions League final, so hopefully we can just go and do the nation proud.
“That’s the main thing. Wear the shirt with pride and get this country where it wants to be and that’s into the next round.”