England v Germany: We're better than 2010, says Steven Gerrard

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Stage is set for Sturridge - Gerrard

Captain Steven Gerrard says England are ready to show Germany the scale of their improvement under manager Roy Hodgson when they meet at Wembley on Tuesday.

England face Germany for the first time since Joachim Low's side won 4-1 in Bloemfontein in the last 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Gerrard said: "I'd say we are better.

"If we were to meet Germany tomorrow in a World Cup situation I don't think we'd leave the pitch having lost 4-1."

The Liverpool midfielder, 33, added: "I do feel as if we're a lot stronger. There is a good mix of youth and experienced players in the squad at the moment who are all moving forward and improving all the time."

If Germany win the friendly, it will mean England have lost back-to-back Wembley games for the first time in 36 years having been beaten 2-0 by Chile on Friday - but Gerrard believes there are causes for optimism.

He said: "I look back at the Chile result and I came away from that game feeling different to a lot of people, having read what I've read.

"I'm really confident that if we were to meet Chile further on into a World Cup we'd have the players at full strength to go and beat them."

Gerrard, who will equal England World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore's total of 108 caps when he leads the side out at Wembley, insists there will be no fear against a side already being spoken of as serious contenders to win next summer's showpiece in Brazil.

He said he thought England were slight underdogs, but added: "I'll openly admit I've gone on to the pitch at times when I've thought 'we've got our backs against it today', for example when I've come up against Barcelona in the Champions League when on paper they're much stronger - but I've never gone in scared.

"I've always gone in with the idea that it is a great opportunity to be the underdog for a change and maybe prove to people that the underdogs can sometimes come out on top.

"I think if you look at how Germany have performed in recent tournaments, and where they're ranked compared to us, then I suppose we're slight underdogs. I look at both squads and both starting XIs that are possible for the game on Tuesday and I wouldn't say we're huge underdogs, just maybe slight underdogs."

Southampton's Adam Lallana wins his second cap after impressing against Chile and Gerrard suggested he could pose Hodgson a welcome World Cup selection dilemma if he does well against Germany.

"I'm sure Adam's aware this is a huge game but I think he'll go in not fearing the opposition but respecting them," Gerrard said.

"This is a great opportunity for him to shine and if he can play well against Germany and improve slightly on his performance against Chile then I'm sure he's going to give the manager something to think about."

Gerrard will be 34 when next year's World Cup gets under way and he said he would make a decision on his international future after the tournament.

"The appetite and desire to go on will still be there," he said.

"I think it will be a case of going to Brazil and giving it my best and then when then tournament is over I'll chat to the right people and make a decision."

Top Stories