High-flying Spain faces a dejected Germany in a colossal battle of the Group E second match at the Al Bayt Stadium.
La Roja put seven past Costa Rica in an ecstatic performance in the opening group stage game while Die Mannschaft surprisingly lost 2-1 to Japan despite taking the lead in the first half.
ESP vs GER Match Details
Date: Sunday, 27 November 2022 / Monday, 28 November 2022
Time: 22:00 (BST) / 00:30 (IST)
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
ESP vs GER Match Preview
Spain dreamt of a winning start to the 2022 World Cup but could not have imagined the flurry of goals they will hit against Costa Rica. It was simply mesmerizing from the start to the finish for La Roja as they dismantled Los Ticos 7-0, their biggest-ever World Cup win. Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres from the spot gave a comfortable 3-0 lead before half-time before Torres added a second to pave the way for Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata to finish the routing. Olmo’s opener was the 100th strike for Spain in the World Cup while Gavi became the youngest scorer from the nation and the third youngest to score in the tournament. Spain also became the record possession holders in the tournament and at the same time restricted Costa Rica to take even a shot in the game. Such a scoring spree was not expected from the Spanish armada as their lack of a potent number nine caused them issues earlier. However, Enrique made some interesting tactical placements in the squad with Marcos Asensio slotting in the number nine role and Rodri shifting to the center-back position to be an additional passing outlet. The result was forthcoming. Attention shifts to a crucial clash in the second group stage game in which Spain will be licking their lips again knowing Germany’s downfall against Japan. The record also favors them as La Roja only lost once in the last seven meetings with the Die Mannschaft. That included an emphatic 6-0 win in the 2020 Nations League with Ferran Torress scoring a hattrick. The last meeting in the World Cup was also for Spain to enjoy with a 1-0 victory in the 2010 quarterfinals. So, Enrique’s men can think of sealing qualification to the latter rounds with a game to spare.
Germany were understandably furious with FIFA to deny them the opportunity to display the armband for the ‘One Love’ campaign planned before the tournament. Instead, they found an alternative to their protest against the human rights violation and homosexuality laws in the host nation. Whether that took much of the focus needed on the pitch is not known but Die Mannschaft were guilty of missing chances to double their lead in eventual capitulation against Japan. The 2022 World Cup saw another shock only a day after Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina. Another Asian nation triumphed against a heavyweight as Ilkay Gundogan’s spot-kick in the 33rd-minute mattered little with substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano finding the back of the net with 15 minutes left on the clock. Germany have now lost consecutive World Cup openers. Gundogan struck the post earlier, Serge Gnabry tested Shuichi Gonda who made eight saves in the match and Kai Havertz’s goal was ruled out for offside as Germany ran out of options. Manager Hansi Flick was also criticized for making wrong decisions regarding substitutions in the match while the defense was pessimistic in the two goals conceded. The 2014 winners did not expect this result and the defeat puts them almost on the brink of elimination. Not having a proper right-back with Niklas Sule playing the role has been an issue whereas Kai Havertz’s position is not ideal either. Leroy Sane’s return from injury may help to have some firepower against Spain in the second group stage game. However, taking points off an opposition they have only tasted success once in 19 years is a massive job to take on Sunday. Flick has admitted that his side are under pressure to stay at the 2022 World Cup and avoid consecutive group stage exit. He wishes for a positive rather than a negative reaction to the situation. Although, their faith will lie in the result of the other game. If Japan avoids defeat against Costa Rica, then Die Mannschaft have no choice but to win their battle against the rampaging Spain.
ESP vs GER Predicted Lineups
ESP: Unai Simon; Cesar Azpilicueta, Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Gavi; Ferran Torres, Marcos Asensio, Dani Olmo
GER: Manuel Neuer; Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger, Nico Schlotterbeck, David Raum; Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan; Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala; Kai Havertz
ESP vs GER Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Neuer (8)
DEF: Raum (8), Rudiger (8.5), Laporte (8.5), Alba (9)
MID: Olmo (8.5), Gavi (8), Gundogan (8.5), Olmo (8.5)
FW: Muller (8.5), F Torres (8.5)
Vice-captain: Dani Olmo
Captain: Ferran Torres