Chelsea team-mates but international rivals. That’s the situation facing our three England and three Germany players ahead of today’s Euro 2020 last-16 meeting at Wembley.
It remains unclear whether Mason Mount or Ben Chilwell are able to feature having spent the past 10 days in self-isolation, and training away from the rest of Gareth Southgate’s squad.
That still leaves Reece James, Toni Rudiger, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz as possible Chelsea performers, and it was Havertz on pre-match media duty for Germany ahead of the game. He was asked if he had been in touch with his Chelsea team-mates in England.
‘There’s definitely been a bit of chat between us all,’ replied Havertz.
‘Timo and Toni also get on well with our Chelsea team-mates. It’s clear that you sometimes have a chat or two before the game.
‘It’s not like we’re in contact every day, but before a game like this, you sometimes write each other text messages.’
Havertz was also happy to confirm he would step up and take a spot-kick if required, but he was keen to stress ‘the 120 minutes prior to that are more important, which means we will try and win the game before then.’
To do so, Havertz and co. must get the better of an England side he has become increasingly familiar with after his first season in the Premier League.
‘The only advantage that us players who play in England have is that we probably know a little better how their football is played,’ reckoned the 22-year-old.
‘We’ve still got a number of experienced players, though, who have already played against England.
‘It will be a special game for me of course. I have already played at Wembley once or twice. It’s a big game for everyone and we’ll do all we can to make sure we leave as winners.’