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



CNN

If Germany are to avoid the humiliation of back-to-back eliminations from the World Cup group stage, they will need a positive result against a Spanish side that looked the most dangerous team in the tournament after the opening round.

Finishing bottom of the group at Russia 2018, a tournament in which Germany entered as defending champions, was a historic low for the four-time World Cup champions. This was the first time in the last 80 years that the German national team failed to advance to the knockout stage of this tournament.

Now with Hansi Flick in charge after Joachim Löw stepped down after 15 years in charge, a repeat of that performance in Russia was surely unthinkable.

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

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

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

The result means the game against Spain is do-or-die for Germany, as defeat would confirm an early exit from Qatar. It’s certainly an unwelcome position for Flick and his men, especially after Spain were hammered 7-0 by Costa Rica in their opening game.

Is time running out for Germany and coach Hansi Flick?

Of course, it remains to be seen whether the Spaniards’ statement victory was more about the unstoppability of Luis Enrique’s men or the sheer terror of the opposition, with Costa Rica rivaling hosts Qatar for the worst World Cup team to date.

Germany will certainly provide a much more accurate indicator of the Spanish side’s chances in Qatar, but this victory has significantly given rise to serious optimism that the team are genuine contenders.

World Cup team camps have traditionally been somewhat austere and private, but Spain coach Luis Enrique has taken an unconventional approach to spending time behind closed doors.

The 52-year-old, who recently posted a shirtless photo of himself looking great on Instagram, has been taking part in regular Q&As with fans via the Twitch live streaming service and has vowed that as long as Spain remain in the country, will keep Competition.

Enrique even revealed he was happy for his players to have sex at the World Cup – previously other national team coaches had infamously banned the squad from engaging in intimate activities.

The mood inside the Spanish camp is certainly good, and a win against Germany will see us advance to the round of 16 with one more game to play.

In the other Group E match, Japan knows that a win against Costa Rica will guarantee its place in the knockout stages.

The Samurai Blue caused a major World Cup upset by beating Germany for the first time in their history and will be looking to avoid going into their final group game against Spain needing a positive result.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, will have as much pride as the game against Japan after the Central Americans suffered a humiliating seven-goal defeat against Spain.

Los Ticos have generally acquitted themselves well on the World Cup stage, culminating in the quarter-finals at Brazil 2014, and manager Luis Fernando Suarez will be keen to prove that the opening day result was just a bad day at the office. .

To be fair, Canada coach John Herdman’s comments following his team’s 1-0 loss to Belgium in Croatia were not pleasant.

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

“We are leaving Croatia,” he added.

John Herdman's trust caused a stir in Croatia.

In response to these bullish comments, Croatian newspaper 24 Sata published a mocking image of a naked herd on its front page with nothing but a Canadian maple leaf to protect her chastity.

Canada outplayed Belgium for most of their opening game and had a glorious chance to take an early lead from the penalty spot, but star player Alphonso Davies had his effort saved by Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium then found success on the counter-attack thanks to Michy Batshuayi’s clinical finish and Canada, despite constant pressure, had no answer.

Croatia, runners-up four years ago, held Morocco to a goalless draw in their opening game and will be hoping to do much better against the Canadians.

Captain Luka Modric is now 37 and likely to play in his last World Cup, and Croatia’s talisman was off the pace against North Africa, late to multiple challenges and narrowly avoiding a yellow card.

Much of what has made this team such a threat over the years is down to Modric and the Real Madrid man will need to be at his best if Croatia are to emulate what he produced in Russia four years ago.

Belgium will also be looking to build on their opening win against Canada as the country’s ‘Golden Generation’ stars are likely to embark on their last real push to reach a major competition.

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

However, Morocco looks set to provide another tough test for Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side.

The team looked compact and organized against Croatia and may even feel that a chance to take all three points was missed after creating some brilliant chances.

The Atlas Lions have only made it past the World Cup group stage once in their history and the team will likely be confident of a positive result against Belgium and take 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 – Germany: 14:00 EST

United States: Fox Sports

UK: BBC or ITV

Australia: SBS

Brazil: SportTV

Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom

Canada: Bell Media

South Africa: SABC

Source

Also Read :  World Cup standings, bracket 2022: Team rankings, schedule, FIFA World Cup group table, favorites, tiebreakers

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