Spain vs Germany
A spot in the semi-finals of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League is up for grabs and it all boils down to a clash between two of the world’s leading nations.
Over the past two decades, Spain (2008-12) and Germany (2014) have arguably produced the best two international sides since the turn of the millennium.
Ahead of this meeting in the Estadio de la Cortuja, the race towards potential further glory could hardly be closer.
Germany head into this encounter a point clear of Spain after coming from behind to beat Ukraine on Saturday evening, while the Spanish needed a late equaliser to earn a point in Switzerland.
Both countries disappointed at the last World Cup, especially the then reigning champions, and are looking to build up some positivity and momentum ahead of the Euros next summer. Progressing out of this group to reach the Nations League finals would certainly perform that function.
Despite his rare blip from the penalty spot on Saturday night, Spain captain Sergio Ramos is expected to again start and close in on the all-time record of 184 international caps.
He is always a goal threat after netting 23 times in his first 177 appearances.
Behind him, I expect Manchester United’s David de Gea to return in place of Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Simon.
Further forward, Koke and Sergio Canales are in contention to start, while Gerard Moreno, who came off the bench to equalise on Saturday, could earn a starting role.
For Germany, Toni Kroos is available again after serving a suspension against Ukraine, and the 30-year-old should return to the midfield, potentially at the expense of Robin Koch.
Julian Brandt and Luca Waldschmidt both came off the bench at the weekend and will be hoping to earn starts, but coach Joachim Low is expected to keep any changes to a minimum.
He has already seen his options reduced with Kai Havertz quarantining, Julian Draxler battling with a quadriceps complain and star man Joshua Kimmich out with a meniscus tear, among the main absentees.
A draw in Seville will be enough for Low’s men to progress and their main threat could come from Timo Werner who netted five goals in his last four games for Chelsea prior to the international break and scored twice against Ukraine.
He should be joined by Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry in an exciting attacking trio, with Ilkay Gundogan and Leon Goretzka are expected to retain their spots in midfield alongside the returning Kroos.
Since losing to Holland in a European Championship qualifier just over a year ago, Germany are unbeaten in all competitions and know another night of Nations League highlights will seal their place in the semi-finals.
The onus, and most of the pressure, is on Spain.
Germany’s record in 24 senior meetings with Spain is won nine, drawn eight, lost seven.
September’s 1-1 draw saw both nations show glimpses of their class, despite lacking a pre-season.
Before then, the countries had last met two years ago in a friendly in Dusseldorf which ended 1-1 after new Leeds United signing Rodrigo and recent Champions League winner Thomas Muller traded goals.
Their only two competitive encounters over the last quarter of a century have both been huge and have both gone Spain’s way.
They saw off Germany by a solitary Carlos Puyol goal in the 2010 World Cup semi-final, just two years after clinching Euro 2008 to end their long wait for honours.
Their very first meeting was a friendly in 1935 when two goals from Isidro Langara earned Spain a 2-1 success.
|Spain vs Germany||1X2 Spain @ 2.56|
|November 18, 03:45 (GMT+8)|
Spain are slight favourites to win the group, priced 1X2 @ 1.48 with Germany @ 2.80, so naturally are favourites for this tie.
That is reflected in the SBOTOP Nations League betting odds.
With Asian Handicap odds, they can be backed – 0.00 @ 1.90, -0.25 @ 2.25, whereas the Germans are available to back 0.00 @ 2.02 with the 1X2 draw also on offer @ 2.02.
Over 2.75 goals @ 2.20 and total goal 4-6 @ 3.20 suggest this could well be an action-packed affair, while a repeat of their most recent meeting – correct score 1-1 – will payout @ 5.40.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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