Germany and Spain continue preparations for the 2018 World Cup against one another in a high-profile friendly.

By 90Min
March 22, 2018

The two most recent world champions collide as Germany host Spain in a glamour friendly on Friday night ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia. Joachim Low's men will be looking to defend the crown they won in 2014, having added the Confederations Cup to their extensive trophy cabinet last summer.

By contrast, Spain have undergone mixed fortunes in recent years. La Roja exited the last World Cup at the group stage and were soundly beaten by Italy in the round of 16 at Euro 2016.

Last summer Julen Lopetegui replaced Vicente del Bosque as Spain manager, and successfully guided them to the 2018 World Cup by winning their qualifying group without losing a single match.


Classic Encounter

The two sides met in the Euro 2008 final, just when Spain were beginning their global dominance off the back of the historic Pep Guardiola team at Barcelona. Germany had come third in their home World Cup two years prior, and were looking to win their first European Championship in 12 years.

Fernando Torres scored the only goal of a cagey game, rushing clear of the German defense and clip over Jens Lehmann, securing a first ever international title for Spain. Vicente del Bosque's men would go on to win the following World Cup and retain their European title two years later, enjoying a sustained period of dominance with the whole squad in their prime, before a shock group-stage exit at Brazil 2014 signaled the end of the invincible Spaniards.


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Key Battles

Gerard Pique will have a tough battle containing Thomas Muller and Timo Werner, but the Barcelona defender does possess a height advantage over the two German forwards.

Down the other end of the pitch, Diego Costa will be his usual self against Mats Hummels, with the ex-Chelsea man back in a rich vein of form after his January return to Atletico Madrid. The Brazilian-born striker has six goals in 13 games for the club this season.


Team News

Germany are without Manuel Neuer for the game, with the Bayern Munich keeper nursing a foot injury. Marco Reus has been left out of the squad after coming back from a long injury layoff.

Spain have no current injury concerns, but have left out Premier League members Alvaro Morata, Juan Mata and Cesc Fabregas, with none of them playing frequently for their clubs at the moment.

Predicted Germany Lineup: Ter Stegen; Kimmich, Hummels, Sule, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Muller, Ozil, Sane; Werner.

Predicted Spain Lineup: De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Isco, Saul, Iniesta; Silva, Asensio; Costa. 


Prediction

Germany are one of the main contenders to win it all this summer in Russia, and should be favored over a Spain team still in transition under Lopetegui.

Spain does boast world-class talent such as Diego Costa, Isco and David Silva, so they do possess the skills to break open the stern Germany defense and should make for an even matchup on Friday.

Joachim Low's men should edge it based on home advantage and the confidence that comes with being reigning world champions.

Prediction: Germany 2-0 Spain

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