Friday's 2022 World Cup draw in Doha has thrown up some intriguing group stage games, with European heavyweights Germany and Spain the headline act.
Group E has pitted four-time winners Germany and 2010 champions Spain together in what is a mouth-watering contest so early in the tournament. Whoever emerges victorious is bound to be favourite to top the group, which also features Japan and Costa Rica/New Zealand.
The hotly anticipated game is scheduled for Sunday, November 27, and will see Hansi Flick coming face-to-face with Luis Enrique.
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Spain have the psychological advantage after thrashing Germany 6-0 in the Nations League back in November 2020 - but Die Mannschaft have significantly improved since then, winning eight of their last nine games.
We made contact with our colleagues at both Eurosport Germany and Spain to find out how this intriguing game could potentially play out.

How have past meetings gone between the two nations?

Dennis Melzer - Eurosport Germany: Spain can be described as a bit of a nemesis. In the last competitive games, the German team did not look particularly good against La Roja. In the final of the 2008 European Championship, Germany lost 0-1 (Fernando Torres netting the decisive goal), two years later in South Africa also (Carles Puyol scored the game's only goal to send Spain through to the final). But the biggest humiliation was the 0-6 loss to Spain in November 2020 [in the Nations League]. In the group stage at World Cups, however, Germany have never lost against Spain in three duels.
Enrique Sanchez - Eurosport Spain: Really nice for Spain. In the last match, in the UEFA Nations League, Spain won 6-0 and in the previous match, it ended 1-1, so a good result (both in 2020). Apart from those two, a couple of friendly matches (nothing important). And of course, the 2010 World Cup semi-final ended 0-1 for Spain with Puyol's famous header.

Should your manager be confident ahead of this game?

Dennis Melzer - Hansi Flick still has some time to find his best team. Basically, I think Germany is playing better football under him than under Jogi Low. Flick always approaches his tasks with confidence, as he has already proven at FC Bayern. In addition, due to his work as an assistant coach under Low, he is experienced when it comes to World Cups. Spain is still one of the toughest opponents Germany could have met.
Enrique Sanchez - Yes. He has shown that is never afraid of other teams. He knows how to adapt but he usually doesn't modify his style too much. So if he could have a good team (good shape) for November, Spain should be confident and prepared for this big match.

How can we expect your nation to approach this game - would a draw be an ideal result or will they be going all out for victory?

Dennis Melzer - I'm sure Germany would be happy with a draw against Spain. However, Flick is a coach who does not play for a draw, but always goes for a win. We'll have to wait and see how the game develops, but I can't imagine Germany hiding against Spain.
Enrique Sanchez - He is going for the victory no matter what, but as it is going to be the second match (and Spain probably would win the first) maybe they could take a draw if Germany is superior during the game. Like I said before, Luis Enrique has a style, an idea, he modifies little things depending on the players that he could use, but he usually plays the same way. High pressure, a lot of ball, playing on the sides with triangles to advance and then getting into the area with a lot of players. Also, the younger players that he uses try to play faster and sometimes it works, but I don't know if this would be possible against Germany.

Which opposition player will worry your team the most?

Dennis Melzer - If you look at the last duel, Ferran Torres in particular must trigger bad memories for Germany. After all, he scored three goals in a 6-0 win. It is clear that Spain has a fantastic team overall. We don't just look at Ferran, but also at players like Pedri, Gavi, Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata, Rodri etc.
Enrique Sanchez - Thomas Muller. He maybe not the most showy, but for sure the most intelligent. We could defend against fast players, but the gap between Sergio Busquets and Eric Garcia (or the players in their positions) is a key zone to defend that they have shown at Barcelona several times that they are not really good at. If you put Muller as a second striker or false winger, he could do a lot of damage.

How will your team feel about Group E in general?

Dennis Melzer - Spain is obviously the main rival in this group. Germany must defeat the other two opponents in purely nominal terms. So, reaching the round of the last 16 is a must for Flick's team.
Enrique Sanchez - Confident in general, Germany is a dangerous rival, but we should win against Japan and the other two nations without problem. This could be a problem also, too much confidence... Maybe Japan gets you into some trouble.
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