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Spanish boss Luis Enrique hints at rotation plans as Dani Carvajal reveals Rudiger plea

The Spanish head into their final game in pole position to head into the knockout rounds

Luis Enrique has handed Germany a major boost as he has confirmed that Spain will aim to take three points against Japan and are unlikely to rotate their side, handing Hansi Flick’s side an unlikely lifeline at the World Cup.

Germany fell to a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan in their opening game, and there was a scenario in which defeat to Spain would have put them out in the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup, only for Costa Rica to spring another shock as they grabbed a 1-0 win over Japan, blowing the group wide open.

That, combined with a draw between Germany and Spain, means that Spain sit atop the group with four points after two games, while Germany are bottom with one. However, with Flick’s side against Costa Rica, beaten 7-0 by Spain, in their final game, they can still progress should Spain beat Japan.

On the flip side, should Spain lose, both they and Japan would head through provided that Germany do not beat Costa Rica 8-0.

However, there will be no complacency from Luis Enrique’s side, with the manager confirming that they aim to beat Japan and secure top spot first and foremost.

“I like the attitude we have of going for the game and not speculating. We will go to Japan without speculating, to win and go first”, he told Spanish media after the tie.

Carvajal reveals Rudiger message

Meanwhile, Spanish defender Dani Carvajal has revealed that Antonio Rudiger, his teammate at Real Madrid, has already pleaded with him to beat Japan, before adding his agreement to Enrique’s claim that they will put three points front and centre in their mind rather than tactically trying to eliminate the Germans.

“Rüdiger asked me to win against Japan“ he joked. “But no one doubts that we will try to win this match, we want to finish first and win all the matches, and we will do everything for it.”

They play their final game on Thursday, simultaneously with Germany’s clash with Costa Rica.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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