Euro 2020: England set to face Germany – as bosses urged to let staff finish early for kick-off | UK News

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Millions of football fans prepare to watch England take on former German rivals for a place in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals – with bosses urged to let workers finish earlier so they can cheer for the team.

England manager Gareth Southgate has called on his players to make history, as the Three Lions look to beat the Germans in the round of 16 of a major tournament for the first time since 1966.

More than 40,000 fans will be at Wembley for the round of 16 game, which starts at 5pm and could end with a formidable penalty shootout if the teams cannot be separated after 90 minutes and extra time.

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Around 40,000 football fans will be at Wembley for the match

Companies have been encouraged to be flexible about working hours so their employees can watch the game, as England seek to avenge the knockout losses to Germany in 2010, 1996 and 1990 (and by the West Germany in 1970).

More than one in five British employees work evenings and weekends and Frances O’Grady, secretary general of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said bosses should try to let staff who want to watch the games in the ‘Euro 2020 do it “either at work or at home and then claim their time afterwards”.

The Wembley crowd, which will be the largest at the stadium since the start of the pandemic, will be dominated by English fans, with Germany on the amber travel list, which means supporters arriving in the country must quarantine for up to 10 days.

English supporters at Wembley
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The match will see Wembley’s biggest crowd since the pandemic began

England fan Graham Renwick, who has a ticket to the game, told Sky News: “We definitely have the squad to beat Germany. I think we have as much chance as ever to make it to the final.

“My heart says we can do it and we can make it to the final – but there’s that point of mentality with the Germans, and they’ve beaten us a couple of times, so it’s going to be tough.

“But 40,000 people at Wembley, all behind them – I think we can do it this time around.

“To get the chance to sing It’s Coming Home with 40,000 people after beating the Germans in a major tournament, you can’t have a better atmosphere than this – so hopefully we will.”

Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate pictured in training session ahead of England's game against Germany
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Gareth Southgate (R) hopes striker Harry Kane (L) regains his form against Germany

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner were among those calls for bosses to let their workers finish early for the game – with Ms Rayner’s post on Twitter being appreciated by the official squad account. England.

More than five million pints are expected to be drunk across England during the match, a million less than if there hadn’t been COVID restrictions, according to an advertising trade organization.

Under current coronavirus rules in England, pub goers can meet in groups of six – or two households of any size – while groups of no more than 30 are allowed when seated outside.

The British Beer and Pub Association is hoping eight million pints will be sold on Tuesday, including 5.25 million served during the England-Germany game.

Fans rally for Czech Republic v England - Box Park, Croydon, London
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Fans meeting in pubs will be limited to the rule of six indoors

Millions of bets will be placed on the game, with more punters putting money on winning England than Germany, depending on the industry.

Coral spokesman David Stevens said Tuesday’s game is expected to be the busiest game for betting since England faced Croatia in the 2018 World Cup.

The odds for England to win on penalties were set at 12-1 – but Germany inflicting more heartbreaks has a level playing field, according to Coral.

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Former England defender Gary Neville called on the current players to seize their unique opportunity against Germany.

The Sky Sports expert suffered a painful defeat to Germany at Wembley in the Euro 96 semi-final, when current England boss Southgate missed a penalty in the shootout.

Gareth Southgate's missed penalty saw England out of Euro 96
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Gareth Southgate’s missed penalty saw England out of Euro 96

Neville told Sky Sports, “What I would say to these guys on Tuesday is that this moment is not coming back. That’s it.

“We didn’t make history in Euro 96, we failed. Don’t miss Tuesday, guys.

“What an opportunity exists if we beat Germany on Tuesday.”

The winner of England against Germany will face either Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-finals.

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