Big date for key England man Barry
- 27 June 2010 11:22
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Gareth Barry will be the midfield key to England's hopes today as Fabio Capello's men tackle Germany in Bloemfontein for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Winger Shaun Wright-Phillips keeps his fingers crossed that he can play a part again, while Joe Hart has seen former City favourite David James reclaim the goalkeeper's jersey.
But the Blues' Mr Consistency has underlined his role as Capello's linchpin since missing out on England's disappointing opening draw with the USA because of injury.
Manager Capello, who took Barry to South Africa knowing he would miss that first game, said: "I know the value of the German team, but I also know the value of my players."
While England finished second in their group, Germany lost to Serbia in winning theirs. And the most recent clash between the old rivals saw England win 2-1 in Berlin.
Barry's assured passing performance in the crucial 1-0 group victory over Slovenia set the tempo for England, and he is also one of Capello's five designated penalty takers if the tie (BBC1, 3pm) goes down to the wire.
City striker Carlos Tevez, meanwhile, has his own important date as form side Argentina take on Mexico in Johannesburg in today's other intriguing last-16 match (BBC1, 7.30).