Kick-off: 1900, 27/11/2022
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium
Germany are reeling on the ropes at Qatar 2022 after being upset by Japan and Spain can deliver a knockout blow to the four-time winners.
La Roja can play with freedom after romping to a 7-0 win over Costa Rica and will be hard to contain if in a similar mood here.
We’re happy to take 11/8 for Luis Enrique’s side to prevail as our first Spain vs Germany prediction.
Spain disappointed at the last two World Cup tournaments after lifting the trophy in 2010 but appeared back on track after strong Euro 2020 and Nations League showings.
Heading to Qatar, most pundits were full of praise for the way Enrique’s men have been dominating possession and producing neat build-up play.
The big question mark hanging over La Roja was whether they could find a cutting edge up front, but those fears look unfounded after Wednesday’s rout.
Ferran Torres bagged a brace, while Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata were also on target as Costa Rica were crushed.
Enrique commented: “We don’t have one striker who scores many goals, but we have lots of players who score goals and I have never been worried about the lack of goals.
“This was a very special game for us and we wanted to start the competition in the best way possible.
“We often don’t start well (in tournaments), we almost never win the first game, but we have managed to break that.
“I don’t think they had one chance. We dominated from the first minute and we created spaces to have good chances.”
Admittedly, Costa Rica were woeful in Doha, but it was still hard not to be impressed by La Roja’s slick passing and movement off the ball.
Looking at the 16/5 for Torres to score and La Roja to win.
The Barcelona forward hit a hat-trick in a 6-0 Spanish triumph when these teams last met in a November 2020 Nations League contest!
Germany, champions in 2014, appeared to be rebuilding nicely after suffering a rare early exit in Russia four years ago.
However, after winning nine of 10 qualifiers, their Nations League form was again patchy this summer and the pressure is back on after losing 2-1 to Japan.
Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring with a 33rd-minute penalty and also hit the post as Die Mannschaft created some good chances to extend their lead.
They were made to pay for not being more clinical in front of goal, though, as Samurai Blue substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano struck late on.
Adding insult to injury was the fact that they play in Germany for Freiburg and Bochum respectively!
Hansi Flick, who had overseen only one previous defeat in 16 matches since taking charge of the side in August 2021, said: “It’s a great disappointment, of course.
“We were on the right path. I think in the first half we had 78 per cent of ball possession and were ahead 1-0.
“Then I think we had good opportunities in the second half and unfortunately didn’t take advantage of them.
“Japan were simply more efficient. We made mistakes that we should never commit, especially in a World Cup, and those are the things that in the end we have to improve on.
“Now we have to make up for it. We have to make sure when we play Spain on Sunday that we take advantage of our opportunities.
“We need to be courageous and decisive. We need the aggression in the game that’s necessary at a World Cup.”
Germany will have to adopt a positive approach, but that could leave them open at the back, where they looked so cumbersome at times versus Japan.
La Roja to win and both teams to score at 20/1.
(Assist: Jordi Alba)
|83'||Niclas Füllkrug |
(Assist: Jamal Musiala)
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