The English tabloids have had their fun and the history books have been read from cover to cover, but now it’s time for the big one – England vs Germany.

A place in the Euro 2020 quarter-final awaits the victor and a game against Sweden or Ukraine. Whoever emerges victorious at Wembley Stadium will fancy their changes on reaching the last-four.

The England Germany rivalry began on the pitch in 1966, and has been celebrated ever since. This will be the thirteenth fixture between the sides at Wembley, with the Germans leading the win column 6-4. And England haven’t beaten their fierce rivals at home since 1975.

To get you in the mood for tonight’s eagerly anticipated clash, we look back at some of the classic fixtures between the two nations…

England 4-2 West Germany (AET), World Cup Final, 1966

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Scots are bored of hearing about it, and England fans born since that day can’t remember it, but this was the greatest day in English football’s long, illustrious history. A team of superstars and a home support carried the Three Lions through to a memorable final at Wembley Stadium. Geoff Hurst was trusted to lead the line despite the return to fitness of Jimmy Greaves, and boy, didn’t he repay manager Sir Alf Ramsey. Hurst wrote his name into football history that day by becoming the first, and so far, only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final (it did go over the line). Bobby Moore was colossal at the back, Bobby Charlton magical in the middle. It was supposed to be the start of a dominant England on the international scene. As history would go on to show, the losers that day have been a much bigger success since.

West Germany 3-2 England (AET), World Cup Quarter Final, 1970

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England’s preparations for this eagerly anticipated rematch from four years previous was thrown into disarray when goalkeeper Gordon Banks was laid low with food poisoning the day before the game. Second choice goalkeeper Peter Bonetti was thrown in at the deep end, but when England went 2-0 up after 50 minutes it looked like the loss of Banks wouldn’t come back to haunt them. However, a Franz Beckenbauer goal with 20 minutes to go sent nerves through the England camp that resulted in a Gerd Uwe Seeler equaliser with less than ten minutes left on the clock. Gerd Muller’s winner in extra time sent England home from Mexico earlier than anticipated. The result was Germany’s first ever competitive win over England, and they’ve held the upper hand ever since.

West Germany 1-1 England (West Germany win 4-3 on penalties), World Cup Semi Final, 1990

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A night that ended in glorious defeat for England and begun the nation’s awkward love affair with the penalty shoot-out. Following a goalless first half, a deflected Andreas Brehme shot gave the Germans the lead in Turin after an hour before Gary Lineker equalised with ten minutes to go. Extra time brought more drama – two glaring misses from Jurgen Klinsmann, the woodwork and Gazza’s famous tears after a booking ruled him out of the final if England were to make it. It was on to penalties, and with both sides at 3-3 following the first six penalties, the usually reliable Stuart Pearce stepped up and had his penalty saved, then Olaf Thon made it 4-3 to West Germany, meaning Chris Waddle had to score to keep England in the tournament. His effort went over the bar and the Germans went on to beat Argentina in the final.

Germany 1-1 England (Germany win 6-5 on penalties), European Championship Semi Final, 1996

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The Germans, on penalties, in a semi-final, again. England couldn’t have had a better start after Alan Shearer headed in after just three minutes, however a Stefan Kuntz equaliser just 12 minutes later silenced Wembley and ensured a tense, tight 90 minutes. With nothing to separate the sides, golden goal was required. England, desperate to avoid penalties, were the most adventurous of the sides in the extra half hour, with Darren Anderton hitting the post and Gazza being just a studs’ length away from turning in a Shearer cross. It wasn’t to be though, and it was now-England manager Gareth Southgate who missed the vital spot kick to help send the German’s through at England’s expense once again.

England 5-1 Germany, World Cup Qualifier, 2001

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Arguably England’s second ever greatest day took place in Germany’s back yard at Munich’s famous Olympiastadion. Trailing following a sixth minute Carsten Jancker goal, the travelling England support prepared for the worst. But a Michael Owen equaliser just six minutes later, and memorable Steven Gerrard strike right on half time, turned the game on its head. The second half though belonged to England. Owen got his second and England’s third on 48 minutes then completed his hat-trick on 66 minutes. Emile Heskey rounded off an incredible night for Sven-Goran Erikkson’s men.

Germany 4-1 England, World Cup Last 16, 2010

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The last time the sides met in a competitive fixture was in Bloemfontein, and despite England being totally dominated by their rival from start to finish the game is remembered for Frank Lampard’s ‘no goal’. Trailing by two goals after just half an hour, England’s Matthew Upson pulled one back for England in the 37th minute, before Lampard’s effort from 20 yards crashed off the bar and a yard over the line. The officials though failed to spot this, much to England’s dismay. A Thomas Muller double midway through the second half sealed the win for the Germans and capped off a miserable tournament for England.