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Is Spain vs. Germany the Biggest Match of the World Cup’s Group Stage?

The 2022 Qatar World Cup has finally kicked off. The tournament is shaping up to be one of the best ever, with some incredible teams and individual talent set to face off on the sport’s biggest stage.

There are some mouth-watering fixtures and potential matchups that could be heading our way over the next few weeks. As teams eventually fall by the wayside we’ll be left with the cream of the crop, each of them battling to lift football’s most prestigious trophy. However, as is often the case in international tournaments, will be treated to a clash between two footballing giants in the group stage.

Spain and Germany will face each other later this week, in a battle for control of Group E in what promises to be one of the tournament’s early highlights. Let’s take a look at the fixture in more detail. Keep reading to find out more.

The History of the Fixture

As two of international football’s most decorated and storied sides, it’s no surprise that Spain and Germany have a long and dramatic competitive history. The first game between the two took place in 1935, which saw Spain emerge with a 1 – 2 victory.

Since then, the side have faced each other a further 24 times, with Germany leading slightly overall. Germany has won nine of the games against Spain’s eight, with eight draws between them. However, Spain has been the more dominant side over the past few years, going unbeaten against Germany for the last few years, with their most recent meeting ending in a humiliating 6 – 0 defeat of the Germans. This was one of the heaviest defeats in Germany’s history and led to manager Joachim Low stepping down from his position after 15 years, during which time he reached the knockout stages in a number of tournaments and won the 2014 World Cup.

Who are the Favorites?

Brazil and Argentina are the two most tipped sides to go on and ultimately win the World Cup trophy. However, Spain are among the top four, with Germany hot on their heels at sixth favourite. Check out some of the odds for yourself at 10bet Online Casino in South Africa.

When looking at Group E in isolation, opinion has been somewhat divided, but a slight majority of experts and pundits have tipped Spain to top the group. However, Spain have been blowing hot and cold when it comes to major international tournaments in recent years, although they have had a good year, losing only once under the stewardship of manager Luis Enrique. Germany haven’t been playing particularly well, their Nations League campaign was lacklustre, and they have conceded goals in all but one of the games they have played this year.

Each team’s wobbly run of form makes for an interesting matchup, one that is rather difficult to predict. 

The Teams

The Spain side is carefully curated, with manager Enrique choosing players not for their individual brilliance, but rather for their ability to slot into a team that prioritises organisation and structure above all else. The team features young, hungry players such as Pedri and Gavi, who are offset by the grizzled experience of seasoned operators like Sergio Busquets. This makes for a formidable midfield, but Spain have yet to find a reliable goal-scoring threat, with forwards like Álvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia struggling for consistency.

Germany might have struggled somewhat in recent times, but they always pose a threat and have a star-studded line up that has the capacity to cause any team problems. New manager Hansi Flick opted to include some Germany stalwarts as well as some youngsters in his 2022 squad. Their selection of forwards is enviable, with Kai Havertz, Leroy Sané, and Serge Gnabry all serious goal-scoring threats. Where they could stumble is in their defence. Despite veteran Manuel Neuer between the sticks and experienced centre backs Antonio Rüdiger and Niklas Süle, the side have been leaking goals in recent games. However, this could be counterbalanced by Spain’s perceived lack of forward threats.

Conclusion

When it comes to international tournaments like the World Cup, some fans have a tendency to look past the group stages and await the tension and drama that comes with the knockout stages. However, the groups can often prove just as if not more entertaining, and there are some other big group stage fixtures to look forward to, such as Portugal vs. Uruguay and Argentina vs. Mexico. While these will be excellent matchups, they don’t quite match the history and spectacle of Spain vs. Germany. 

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