Spain vs. Germany: 2022 World Cup probable teams, match stats and LIVE blog!

Manuel Neuer and Germany will have to give it their all to try and get the better of Dani Olmo’s Spain in Sunday’s World Cup decider in Group E (kick-off: 20:00 CET).

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Germany goes into this successful meeting with their backs to the wall. After losing 2-1 to a Bundesliga-inspired Japan on Wednesday – despite possession and double shots on goal – they must beat Spain to hold their World Cup fate in hand. Hansi Flick might be tempted to make some defensive changes, especially if he transitions to a back four. If so, Thilo Kehrer – the player who has made the most appearances since Flick took over from Joachim Löw – would likely come in place of Borussia Dortmund’s Niklas Süle, with Lukas Klostermann – who plays for his side alongside Olmo at the RB Leipzig – another option at right-back. Midweek goalscorer Ilkay Gündogan and Joshua Kimmich are expected to restart in midfield, although Leon Goretzka is a viable alternative. Thomas Müller made his first appearance since 26 October against Japan after being sidelined with a hip injury, but the 33-year-old’s flu is such that he could also be called up against Spain. Young Bayern Munich team-mate Jamal Musiala has shown real spark and should keep his place in the attacking midfield, while Werder Bremen’s in-form talisman Niclas Füllkrug – plus a natural striker from Kai Havertz – could be the man to lead the line at this must-win meet.

Spain came out on top in the first round of matches, scoring seven goals against a hapless Costa Rica side to claim their biggest ever win at this tournament. Leipzig star Olmo turned on the blue card for the touch La Roja, displaying brilliant control to pull away from Oscar Duarte and cut their lead in the 11th minute. The floodgates opened and the 24-year-old continued to play in the dying minutes, playing a delicate one-two for Alvaro Morata to seal Spain’s final goal as they 7-0. Luis Enrique’s men are now preparing for a much more severe test, however, against the four-time world champions. The former Barcelona midfielder and manager – who played Germany in a 1-1 draw at the 1994 World Cup – will be tempted to stick with the same squad, despite any changes due to injuries. Olmo will provide an attacking threat down the left in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Morata and Ferran Torres, who were both among the goalscorers against Costa Rica, with Barca’s trio of Pedri, Gavi and Sergio Busquets expected to line up the midfield.

to wade: Dani Olmo versus Manuel Neuer

Match stats

  • Müller is the most prolific active player at the World Cup with 10 goals, although he hasn’t scored at the tournament since the 7-1 semi-final demolition of Brazil in 2014.
  • Germany had 65% possession against Japan and had 25 shots, but their only goal came from the spot, courtesy of Gündogan. The Japanese goalscorers Ritsu Doan (Freiburg) and Takuma Asano (Bochum) both play in the Bundesliga.
  • Füllkrug are the top-scoring German international in the Bundesliga this season, with 10 goals in 14 appearances. The Bremen striker scored on his Germany debut in the warm-up against Oman.
  • Youssoufa Moukoko, who scored six Bundesliga goals for Dortmund this season, became Germany’s youngest debutant at the World Cup against Japan, three days after turning 18.
  • This will be a first meeting between the two managers, who have both managed a treble of league, cup and Champions League at club level: Enrique with Barcelona in 2014/15, Flick with Bayern in 2019/20.
  • Olmo scored Spain’s 100th World Cup goal with his first goal against Costa Rica. The Leipzig playmaker has 12 goals and 16 assists to put up in his 73 Bundesliga appearances to date.

Probable teams

Spain: Simon – Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba – Gavi, Busquets (c), Pedri – Torres, Asensio, Olmo
Out:
doubt:
Trainer: Luis Enrico

Germany: Neuer (c) – Kehrer, Rüdiger, Schlotterbeck, Raum – Kimmich, Gündogan – Gnabry, Müller, Musiala – Füllkrug
Out:
doubt: Healthy (knee)
Trainer: Hansi flick

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