Germany looks to bounce back from shock defeat and revive World Cup hopes against dangerous Spain


If Germany are to avoid the infamy of consecutive World Cup group stage exits, they will need a positive result against a Spain side that looked like the tournament’s most dangerous team after the opening round of fixtures.

After finishing bottom of the group at Russia 2018, one tournament went to Germany as defending champions, a historic low for the four-time World Cup winners. It marked the first time in 80 years that the German national team had failed to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.

With coach Hennessy Flick now in charge after Joachim Löw finally stepped down after 15 years in charge, a repeat of that performance in Russia was surely unthinkable.

But after that shock defeat to Japan in their opening match 2-1, it is a clear possibility once again.

Former national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann accused Germany’s players of thinking they were “going on a cruise” after Ike Gundogan took the lead against Japan through a first-half penalty.

Germany’s failure to capitalize on their dominance kept Japan in the game and, perhaps most worryingly for the four-time champions, Flick was unable to successfully cope with Hajime Moriasu’s tactical changes which eventually led to a comeback. Caused

The result means the match against Spain is do-or-die for Germany, as defeat would confirm an early return home to Qatar. It’s certainly an unwelcome situation for Flick and his men, especially after Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening game.

Is time running out for Germany and head coach Hansi Flick?

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Spaniards’ statement win was a case of Luis Enrique’s men being unstoppable or their opponents simply terrifying, with Costa Rica challenging hosts Qatar for the tag of worst World Cup team ever. was

Germany will certainly provide a much more accurate indication of this Spain side’s prospects in Qatar, but this victory has clearly given rise to serious hope that this team is a genuine contender.

World Cup team camps are traditionally tight, private affairs, but Spain head coach Luis Enrique is taking an unconventional approach to spending time behind closed doors.

The 52-year-old, who recently posted a shirtless photo of himself on Instagram looking in remarkable shape, has been taking part in regular Q&As with fans via live-streaming service Twitch and has promised That will continue as long as he stays in Spain. Competition.

Enrique even revealed that he was happy about his players having sex during the World Cup – before other national team coaches had infamously banned the squad from taking part in intimate activities.

The vibes inside the Spain camp are certainly good and a win against Germany would ensure a place in the round of 16 with a game in hand.

In the second match of Group E, Japan know that a victory against Costa Rica will ensure their place in the knockout stages.

The Samurai Blue beat Germany for the first time in their history to complete an all-time World Cup great and will want to avoid going into the final group game against Spain needing a positive result.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, will be playing for maximum points against Japan after the Central Americans suffered a humiliating seven-goal defeat against Spain.

Los Tacos Having generally acquitted themselves well on the World Cup stage, Brazil 2014’s top spot came during that historic quarter-final, and manager Luis Fernando Suarez will be keen to prove that the opening day result is the office. I was just having a bad day.

It’s fair to say that Canada head coach John Herdman’s comments after his team’s 1-0 loss to Belgium did not go down well in Croatia.

When asked what message he had given his players throughout, the Englishman said he told them “they belong here.”

“And we’re going to eliminate Croatia,” he added.

John Herdman's confidence caused a stir in Croatia.

In response to the scathing comment, Croatian newspaper 24 Sata ran a mocking photo of a naked herdman on its front page, with nothing but a Canadian maple leaf to protect his modesty.

Canada outplayed a sluggish-looking Belgium for much of their opening match and had a great chance to take an early lead from the penalty spot, but starman Alphonso Davies had his effort saved by Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium thrived on the counter-attack thanks to a clinical finish from Michy Batshuayi and Canada had no answer despite constant pressure.

Croatia, runners-up four years ago, were held to a goalless draw against Morocco in their opener and will be hoping for a much better performance against Canada.

Now 37, captain Luka Modric is likely playing in his final World Cup and Croatia’s talisman looked off pace against the North Africans, arriving late on for a number of challenges and somehow getting a yellow card. survived.

Much of what has made this team such a threat over the years goes through Modric and the Real Madrid man will need to be at his best for Croatia to achieve what they achieved in Russia four years ago. Prepare something to imitate it.

Belgium, too, will be looking for a big improvement on their impressive opening-round win over Canada, as the country’s “golden generation” of stars is their last realistic shot at making a deep run at a major competition.

In midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium have the best player in the world but, like the rest of his team-mates, the Manchester City star was well below his usual standard against Canada.

Morocco, however, is likely to provide another stern test for Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side.

The team looked compact and organized against Croatia and will probably feel that the opportunity to secure all three points was squandered after creating a few brilliant chances.

The Atlas Lions have progressed beyond the World Cup group stage just once in their history and the team will likely be confident of getting a positive result against Belgium and taking another step towards emulating the 1986 team.

Japan vs. Costa Rica: 5 a.m. ET

Belgium vs. Mexico: 8 a.m. ET

Croatia vs. Canada: 11 a.m. ET

Spain vs. Germany: 2 p.m. ET

US: Fox Sports


Australia: SBS

Brazil: Sport TV

Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom

Canada: Bell Media

South Africa: SABC


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