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Germany v Spain – dissecting Euro 2024’s two best teams

Jamal Musiala of Germany and Nico Williams of Spain in a composition picture

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague:

“This will be a fascinating encounter. They are both sides who are very similar. They like to build from the back and have an organiser or two in Gundogan and Kroos for Germany and Rodri and Pedri for Spain.

“They both have similar weaknesses with the full-backs going forward and space being left behind, while the centre-back pairings are not the strongest.

“With Spain we have seen a team who have adapted to anything thrown at them, and they have been improving.

“With Williams and Yamal having a youthful approach to games, they don’t mind if they don’t beat defenders, they just keep going.

“In Yamal they have the player of the tournament who has created the most amount of chances.

“There’s not much to be changed in the line-up. The debate is whether it will be Pedri, who was not great against Georgia, or Dani Olmo, who was sharp when he came on.

“There’s another possibility, sometimes Morata starts on the bench and Olmo starts as a false nine, and that could cause problems for Rudiger and whoever partners him in defence because they prefer to face a player with a fixed position.

“Former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann said Spain look like an under-18s side because of our size but I think he knows we are a team that will be aggressive in the one-on-ones.”

German football expert Constantin Eckner:

“Belief has grown. There wasn’t much hype going into this in Germany for the tournament and for Germany, but that has grown.

“There was good and bad in the games against Switzerland and Denmark. Against Switzerland if they did not score in injury time then they would not win the group, so there is optimism as well as realism.

“Spain have been the team that has impressed the most so far with the way they have played. Germany have scored the most goals but the Scotland game was an outlier.

“One of the key battles will be Joshua Kimmich against Williams. Williams has been one of Spain’s main creator of chances.

“The other key duel will be Gundogan versus Rodri because Rodri is Spain’s controlling hand. He is such a strong counter-pressing player and that is why he needs to be contained and made to work and get in situations he is maybe not comfortable.

“Then of course Musiala will play against Dani Carvajal. The first two battles I mentioned were how Germany can contain Spain, but this one will be about how Spain can contain Germany.”

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Written by Joseph

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