Two of the best performing attacks from the opening round of World Cup game, Spain and Germany, face off at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. But it’s only Spain that will be going into the match with confidence riding high. They cruised to a 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their opener but Germany were undone by defensive errors as they fell to a 2-1 loss against Japan. Another defeat for Hansi Flick’s side and they could well be eliminated from the tournament, even a draw might have them sitting precariously going into the final round of games. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
How to watch and odds
Date: Sunday, Nov. 26 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: Al Bayt Stadium — Al Khor
TV: FS1 and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Odds: Spain +138; Draw +240; Germany +188 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Spain: There is quite the positive atmosphere seeping out of La Furia Roja training camp in recent days, typified by Luis Enrique joking on his Twitch streaming channel about the late night activities of his players whilst they are away at the tournament. He has no concerns and how could he when six of his players found the net in a comprehensive victory?
The challenge for him might well be quelling expectations after a win against a Costa Rica side who did not reach their best level, one which still would have been some way off Spain’s. In particular, the on ball pressure which Los Ticos offered will be nothing compared to the intensity that Germany can deliver.
Germany: One game in and the national press are already seeing worrying parallels between this World Cup and the last one, where as defending champions Germany crashed out at the group stage amid a tumult of off-field issues. In 2018, it was the photo opportunity with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and two Germany internationals, this time it was the decision to cover their mouths in the pre-match photo in what appeared to be a protest against FIFA’s banning of the “OneLove” armband.
It was a gesture that won admirers but also critics with former midfielder Lothar Matthaus saying, “There was too much drama in the build-up, too many issues that were more important than football, much like four years ago. That sort of thing disturbs your concentration, it distracts – and thus means you may lack the crucial 5 or 10%.”
This supposedly distracted Germany still put up 2.33 non-penalty expected goals, dominating most of the match against a very good Japan side. Their defense will need to tighten up but the ability of Ilkay Gundogan and Joshua Kimmich to keep opponents penned in the final third could at least ensure that the ball remains where Flick’s side are most effective.
This game could go in any direction so perhaps the draw is the safe option even if it does not particularly suit Germany. Pick: Spain 2, Germany 2