- Who: Spain vs Germany, Group E
- Where: Al Bayt Stadium
- When: Sunday, November 27 at 10pm local, 19:00 GMT
- Fifa ranking: Spain (7), Germany (11)
- Head-to-head record: 25 games since 1935 (including 12 times Spain vs West Germany) – nine wins for Germany, eight wins for Spain, eight draws
- Last five matches:
- Spain: W W W L W
- Germany: L W L D W
It’s a must-watch meeting of two footballing giants.
Spain, absolutely flying from their remarkable 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica on Wednesday meet Germany who are still smarting from their defeat at the hands of Japan on the same day.
A new generation of Spanish youngsters directed by veteran midfield general Sergio Busquets, will star again delivering pin-point passes across the pitch.
The speed of 18-year-old Barcelona star Gavi matched with Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres out wide is just one devastating weapon in Luis Enrique’s armoury for this game.
Enrique also has a star-studded case in Yeremy Pino, Ansu Fati and Nico Williams and the more experienced Rodri, Marcos Llorente and Alvaro Morata to keep Spain buzzing. Together, they bring youth and experience to play.
Spain have lifted the World Cup once, and are among the favourites to do so again this year.
But while they are in truly imperious form, their opponents are desperate to put their defeat to Japan behind them and retake their place in world football.
The current German squad has Thomas Muller and Ilkay Gundogan who at aged 33 and 32 respectively, are veterans in this team. Its spine, meanwhile, is the Bayern Munich contingent who make up half the team, some of whom achieved Bundesliga and European glory with Hansi Flick before his appointment to lead the national team.
Bayern’s own wunderkind, 19-year-old Jamal Musiala, is expected to shine soon at this tournament. A former England youth international, Stuttgart-born Musiala can play on either wing and across midfield. Watch out for him popping up everywhere.
Apart from taking half the Munich team to Qatar, Flick has also brought Borussia Mönchengladbach’s mercurial midfielder Jonas Hofmann, whose versatility is key to Die Mannschaft’s plans for a reversal of fortunes. Behind them is Manuel Neuer, one of the world’s best goalkeepers – and in front of them is the talented Kai Havertz.
Having won the World Cup four times, the Germans are seeking a fifth star on their shirts. But they will need to roll back the disappointments at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 to retake their place among the world’s greats.
Will that be enough against a Spanish team that just seems to score for fun?