Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Prediction: Spain vs Germany

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 40/19

Bookmaker: BetUS

Spain and Germany, both aiming to become the first team to secure a fourth European Championship title, will clash at the MHPArena in Stuttgart in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals on Friday evening.

The winner of this high-stakes encounter will advance to the semis to face either Portugal or France, thus resolving this widely regarded as the more difficult road to the final.

Spain

Having triumphed in all three group games at a European Championship for the first time since 2008, Spain are the only team at Euro 2024 with a perfect four-match record. They advanced to the quarter-finals after a convincing 4-1 comeback win over Georgia in the last 16 on Sunday.

Spain faced an early shock when Robin Le Normand’s own goal put Georgia ahead in the 18th minute, marking the first time La Roja had conceded at Euro 2024. Rodri equalized just before half-time, and second-half goals from Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams, and Dani Olmo secured a dominant victory and extended Spain’s unbeaten streak at the European Championship to 10 matches (excluding penalty shootouts).

Under Luis de la Fuente, Spain’s vibrant and dynamic squad has impressed, reaching the quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five Euros. Even Germany’s Joshua Kimmich acknowledged that Spain have been the standout team of the tournament so far.

Ranked eighth in the FIFA rankings, Spain have not lost to Germany in their last six competitive encounters (W3 D3) since 1998, including a 1-1 draw in the 2022 World Cup group stage. They will fondly recall their 1-0 victory over Germany in the Euro 2008 final, thanks to Fernando Torres, and a 6-0 thrashing in the 2020 UEFA Nations League, highlighted by Ferran Torres’ hat-trick.

However, Spain have historically struggled against host nations in knockout stages, failing to win any of their last nine such encounters dating back to 1934.

Team News

De la Fuente is likely to stick with an unchanged starting lineup on Friday. Teen prodigy Lamine Yamal and Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams are set to flank captain Alvaro Morata in attack.

Despite strong pushes from Dani Olmo and Mikel Merino, Pedri is expected to retain his spot in central midfield alongside Rodri and Fabian Ruiz.

In defence, Nacho Fernandez has recovered from a minor foot injury and is available, but he is unlikely to replace Robin Le Normand or Aymeric Laporte in the centre-back pairing. Dani Carvajal and Marc Cucurella are expected to continue as the fullbacks.

Germany

Germany are on track to capture their first European Championship title since 1996 after a hard-fought 2-0 win over Denmark in the round of 16 last Saturday.

In a dramatic match in Dortmund, delayed by a first-half thunderstorm and marked by VAR controversies, Germany triumphed with second-half goals from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala. Musiala is now one of four players tied at the top of the Euro 2024 scoring charts with three goals.

Julian Nagelsmann praised his team’s performance in what he called a “wild game,” noting that his players are beginning to realize their potential. Germany have reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 2016. Friday’s clash marks Germany’s 19th quarter-final appearance in the World Cup (14) and Euros (five), the most for any European nation at these tournaments.

Germany are among the top three teams for goals scored (10), attacks (265), goal attempts (71), average possession (62%), and fewest goals conceded (two) heading into the last eight of Euro 2024. With the support of a vibrant home crowd, Die Mannschaft have emerged as formidable contenders.

Ranked 16th in the FIFA World Rankings due to recent struggles before Nagelsmann’s tenure, Germany have only two wins in their last 11 matches against Spain. Their last victory was a narrow 1-0 friendly win in November 2014, thanks to an 89th-minute goal from Toni Kroos.

Germany have reason for optimism, as they are unbeaten in their last eight home games against Spain (W5 D3). Moreover, no host nation has ever been eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of a European Championship.

Team News

Nagelsmann may make changes to his starting lineup. He will consider recalling centre-back Jonathan Tah, who missed the last-16 match due to suspension, potentially replacing Nico Schlotterbeck.

Left-back Maximilian Mittelstadt, dropped against Denmark, might vie for a starting spot over David Raum. Additionally, Florian Wirtz could return to the left side of the attack, potentially at the expense of Leroy Sane, which would shift Jamal Musiala to the right.

Niclas Fullkrug, who scored an equalizer against Spain in the 1-1 draw at the 2022 World Cup, is not expected to start over Kai Havertz as the central striker. The midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Robert Andrich, and Ilkay Gundogan is likely to remain unchanged.

Conclusion

Given the historical context, a close encounter on Friday is highly likely. In their last four major tournament meetings, Spain and Germany have collectively scored only six goals (Spain four, Germany two). Moreover, six of their last seven clashes across all competitions have featured no more than two goals.

With such a balanced match-up, the outcome could easily swing in either direction, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the game extends beyond the regular 90 minutes.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 40/19

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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