David James is confident England can overcome Germany without needing a penalty shoot-out, while downplaying the significance of Sunday's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ last 16 meeting with their old rivals.

The 39-year-old has a quiet air of belief that England can avenge their 1990 FIFA World Cup and 1996 European Championship exits at the hands of Germany - both via penalties. The Portsmouth keeper said: "The winning of the World Cup is important, not just beating Germany - but we are confident.

"We have done what we need with regards to getting through and we know the match is romantic - but the romance has to be kept off the field," he added. "The possibilities beyond that could be interesting as well (a quarter-final meeting with Argentina if they beat Mexico) if we win on Sunday.

The technology we have now means you can do your homework. It doesn't guarantee you 100 per cent success but it gives you some idea.

David James, England goalkeeper

"It then brings on another match which will have its own unique historical values. We want to win a game, get onto the next game and win that as well. In order to be successful in this tournament, you've got to beat the best teams. Germany are a decent outfit. They are one of the fancied teams in the tournament. But we won in Berlin two years ago and that is the intention again this time. The intention is to go there and win in 90 minutes," James added.

"If you look at the potential road to the final, the ideal of beating Germany is an achievable goal for us. We are not sitting here as underdogs with no chance. It is the last 16, Germany are who we need to beat to progress. We will go through their strengths and weaknesses. Of course, we want to beat them in 90 minutes but we have to respect the fact, like with the Algerians and Slovenia, it is not going to be a walkover."

James also believes he will be better prepared than he was against Portugal in UEFA EURO 2004 should spot-kicks be required. He failed to make a save when England were beaten on penalties by the host nation in Lisbon six years ago - a game in which an early injury to Wayne Rooney proved crucial.

"After 120 minutes you go down to penalties and it's better than a toss of a coin, that's for sure," he said. "The Portugal match was a sad day for me because I didn't save any. You think 'what if I had done this, what if I had done that?'. We didn't have as much access to information as perhaps we could have done with regards to potential penalty takers.

"The technology we have now means you can do your homework," he continued. "It doesn't guarantee you 100 per cent success but it gives you some idea. We didn't have that in Portugal. If it comes to penalties, hopefully we will be ready for them."

England have been practicing penalties since they joined up for their training camp in Austria immediately after the end of the domestic campaign. "I don't know if I should say the lads are good against me or vice-versa but it changes from day to day. Some of our lads are pretty good," James added.

Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Barry and James Milner are likely to be amongst the favourites to take spot-kicks if required on Sunday.