RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo and Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer (l-r.) renew acquaintances when Spain play Germany in World Cup Group E. - © DFL
RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo and Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer (l-r.) renew acquaintances when Spain play Germany in World Cup Group E. - © DFL
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Spain vs. Germany: 2022 World Cup probable teams, match stats and LIVE blog!

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Manuel Neuer and Germany will have to be firing on all cylinders as they look to get the better of Dani Olmo's Spain in a decisive World Cup clash in Group E on Sunday (kick-off: 8pm CET).

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Germany go into this blockbuster meeting with their backs up against the wall. Having lost 2-1 to a Bundesliga-inspired Japan on Wednesday – despite having more possession and over twice as many shots on goal – they need to beat Spain to keep their World Cup fate in their own hands. Hansi Flick could be tempted to make some defensive changes, especially if he switches to a four-man backline. In that case, Thilo Kehrer – the player who has won the most caps since Flick took over from Joachim Löw – would likely come in for Borussia Dortmund's Niklas Süle, with Lukas Klostermann - who plays his club football alongside Olmo at RB Leipzig - another option at right-back. Midweek goalscorer Ilkay Gündogan and Joshua Kimmich are set to start again in midfield, although Leon Goretzka is a proven alternative. Thomas Müller made his first appearance since 26 October against Japan, having been sidelined by a hip injury, but such is the 33-year-old's influence that he may also get the nod against Spain. Teenaged Bayern Munich teammate Jamal Musiala showed real spark and should retain his place in attacking midfield, while in-form Werder Bremen talisman Niclas Füllkrug – more of a natural striker than Kai Havertz – could be the man to lead the line.

Spain had much the better of the opening round of fixtures, putting seven goals past a hapless Costa Rica to claim their biggest-ever win at this tournament. Leipzig star Olmo lit the blue touch paper for La Roja, showing brilliant control to spin away from Oscar Duarte and clip in their opener on 11 minutes. The floodgates opened and the 24-year-old was still plugging away in the final minutes, playing a delicate one-two for Alvaro Morata to fire home Spain's final goal in a 7-0 rout. Luis Enrique's men are now preparing for a much sterner test, though, against the four-time world champions. The former Barcelona midfielder and coach – who played against Germany in a 1-1 draw at the 1994 World Cup – will be tempted to keep faith with the same line-up, notwithstanding any injury-enforced changes. Olmo will provide attacking menace on the left of a 4-3-3 alongside Morata and Ferran Torres, who were both among the goals against Costa Rica, with the Barca trio of Pedri, Gavi and Sergio Busquets expected to marshal the midfield.

Watch: Dani Olmo vs. Manuel Neuer

Match stats

  • Müller is the most prolific active player at the World Cup with 10 goals, although he hasn't netted at the tournament since the 7-1 semi-final demolition of Brazil in 2014.
  • Germany enjoyed 65 per cent of possession against Japan and had 25 shots, but their only goal came from the penalty spot, courtesy of Gündogan. Japan's goalscorers Ritsu Doan (Freiburg) and Takuma Asano (Bochum) both play in the Bundesliga.
  • Füllkrug is the top-scoring German national in this season's Bundesliga, with 10 goals in 14 appearances. The Bremen forward scored on his Germany debut in a World Cup warm-up against Oman.
  • Youssoufa Moukoko, who has six Bundesliga goals for Dortmund this term, became Germany's youngest World Cup debutant against Japan, three days after turning 18.
  • This will be a first meeting between the two coaches, who have both overseen a league, cup and Champions League treble at club level: Enrique with Barcelona in 2014/15, Flick with Bayern in 2019/20.
  • Olmo scored Spain's 100th World Cup goal with his opener against Costa Rica. The Leipzig playmaker has 12 goals and 16 assists to show for his 73 Bundesliga outings to date.

Probable teams

Spain: Simon – Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba – Gavi, Busquets (c), Pedri – Torres, Asensio, Olmo
Out: -
Doubtful: -
Coach: Luis Enrique

Germany: Neuer (c) – Kehrer, Rüdiger, Schlotterbeck, Raum – Kimmich, Gündogan – Gnabry, Müller, Musiala – Füllkrug
Out: -
Doubtful: Sane (knee)
Coach: Hansi Flick

LIVE blog!

VS
Spain
Sun, 27.11 19:00
Germany
FIFA World Cup
Group E, Matchday 2
Group E, Matchday 2 Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar