It’s arguably the biggest game of the World Cup so far as two old foes meet in Group E when Germany and Spain battle in a vital clash where the four-time world champions simply cannot afford to lose.
A victory for Spain would mean they get through into the knockout rounds after a stunning 7-0 victory over Costa Rica. Should Japan also beat Costa Rica, Spain could even afford to draw this game and have one foot in the knockout rounds heading into the final match of the group against Japan.
Spain were ruthless against Costa Rica, and in truth, you have to really dig through the archives to see a more dominant performance at a World Cup finals group stage game. From the first whistle, the 2010 world champions managed to practically hold all the ball, create chance after chance, and also saw six different goalscorers with 82% of the action in their favour.
Germany, however, were embarrassed by Japan at times. The 2014 World Cup winners managed lead 1-0 at half time against Japan from an Ilkay Gundogan penalty, but Japan were ruthless in the second half.
The Germans didn’t exactly play poorly, but with them Japan fighting for every ball, they were ultimately done over by a nation that simply looked like they wanted more. It now means the four-time World Cup winners cannot afford to lose here, otherwise they could be heading home at the groups in consecutive World Cups.