Germany v Spain Preview, Betting Tips and Predictions
March 19, 2018
ESPRIT Arena - International Friendly
The winners of the last two World Cups face off in the build up to the kick-off of the 2018 tournament, as Germany face Spain in Dusseldorf. Both sides finished top of their groups in the qualifiers, and will require only the faintest fine-tuning before the World Cup gets underway.
The two sides haven't met in a competitive tournament since 2010, at the World Cup in South Africa. The semi-final saw Spain dominate large spells of the game, but it took a goal from Carlos Puyol to seal the victory for the side that was to go on and win the tournament. Having been defeated by Spain in the European Championships Final two years prior to this, Joachim Lowe's side will be keen to avoid the same fate this year.
Winning-goal-scoring in the last World Cup, Mario Gotze has been left out of the squad, as has Borussia Dortmund teammate Marco Reus. Instead, veteran Mario Gomez has been brought in, having scored six goals since signing for Stuttgart in January. Bayern Munich's 'keeper Manuel Neuer remains injured, but Leon Goretzka and Jonas Hector have returned to the squad.
Chelsea trio Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodruigez have been dropped by Julen Lopetegui, as has fellow Premier League stars Juan Mata, Alberto Moreno and Hector Bellerin. Blues defenders Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta have been included, with the left-back hoping to make his debut for La Roja.
Germany v Spain Preview and Predictions
Germany have broken all records in their World Cup qualification campaign, having won all their games and scored 48 goals in the meantime. This is the third time that Germany have enjoyed a perfect campaign, with no other country managing the feat more than once.
Spain have also been in good form in the run-up to the competition, overcoming Italy to ensure their own qualification. Lopetegui's side will be disappointed, therefore, to have been drawn in a group with European Championship winners Portugal. The two face-off in match day one of the tournament, meaning that Spain need to start at full strength, making the upcoming friendlies all the more important.
The manager has a few questions over his starting XI, especially in the centre-forward role, a problem position for Spain since Fernando Torres' heyday. Morata's poor form for Chelsea has lost him his place, whilst Diego Costa missed the first six months of the campaign, leaving the door open for Iago Aspas and Rodrigo to make their case. The last thing Lopetegui will want heading into the competition is uncertainty, and he will hope that one of his forwards will excel against the world champions.
Rodrigo to score first is 15/2 to score anytime.
The Valencia forward has 13 league goals this season and scored in the qualifiers.
Gomez to score and Germany to win at 10/3.
Physicality has been Spain's weakness in recent years, and the striker has it in abundance.