Leading article: Team of rivals

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The Independent Online

Ah yes, England vs Germany. The old football rivalry continues in the second round of the World Cup in South Africa tomorrow.

Except that the Germans have beaten England so often in major tournaments since they lost the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley that they barely consider this a serious rivalry any more. And looking at the record, from their 1970 World Cup revenge on, one can understand where they are coming from.

But what the Germans have not grasped is how fundamentally different things are this time. England have an Italian manager. It's the German press, rather than our own, that seems to be indulging in jingoism. ("Yes! Now we are going to sort out the little English girlies," screamed the Berliner Zeitung this week.) And then there's the blare of the vuvuzelas, which will surely lift the English more. So we predict that everything should go swimmingly for England in Bloemfontein tomorrow. Just as long as no one is foolish enough to mention the war. Or kick and rush. Or penalties.