Group E: as it stands
Everyone has played twice and we are now looking at a number of permutations in the final games.
Given the nature of the Qatar World Cup so far, it would be a brave person to bet on anything…
WORLD CUP 2022
What Spain needs to qualify for the World Cup Round of 16: all possible outcomes
Luis Enrique's team are in very decent shape to make it to the round of 16, and some may argue that engineering a second place finish would be in their best interests to avoid Brazil and go deep into the tournament.
The other policy, as Dora the fish would probably say, is 'just keep winning!'
All to play for in game 3
So, what did you think of that? In terms of the football, these are two very good teams that can cause problems for anyone they meet, Spain especially so, who must still be considered a potential tournament winner given the talent and cohesion we've seen across their two opening games.
Germany now look ahead to Thursday's clash with Costa Rica, knowing that they'll need to win, potentially by a few goals, if they are to progress. Spain need just a point against Japan.
I can't wait!
Goals: Morata (62'); Fullkrug (83')
Peep, peep, peeeeep! The whistle goes, and the spoils, as they say, are shared.
The corner is good, swung in fiercely to a crowded six-yard box, but Simon comes out and claims, holding tight to end the threat. That should be game over.
Germany are really going for this now. Sane the latest to cause the problems, belting down the left and getting away from Simon. He wins a late corner as his cross is knocked away.
This is likely to be the last chance.
Olmo does well to carry the ball forward down the left, then uses his runners outside to evade tackles and make his way towards a potential shooting range.
One touch too many though and a double team puts up the shutters.
We are looking at an additional six minutes.
Morata does such a Morata thing, proving how effective he can be when he doesn't have too much time to ponder his options.
Freed away into the inside right channel, his decision making lag time allows the defender to catch him and make the tackle. Corner won, clock ticks more.
Well, that's making it a more interesting last five or so minutes, rather than Spain just playing out the time.
German tails are up and they'll be in search of a valuable three points.
Fullkrug levels it up
GOAL!! Fullkrug fires home
It's a lovely finish high past Simon into the roof of the net, taking over the spin turn by Jancker. VAR has a look for offside but it's all good and we are level.
Kimmich has a chance from the dead ball, around 20-22 yards out. The wall is made and… the wall does its job.
That draw that I'd suggested both teams may settle for must look really attractive to the Germans now.
Morata in Spain's top five
Had you said that Álvaro Morata was in the top handful of goalscorers in Spanish history (and it wasn't my job to know stuff like this) then I'd have questioned your sources. Just think about who has come before.
SAVE!!! Time seemed to stand still there, as the young star Musiala found himself in acres (figuratively, clearly!) of space at Spain's back post,
He controlled, he looked up, he fired goalwards… but Simon stood tall and blocked away.
That was a great chance for the equaliser.
If you've followed my chat before, you'll know that when it comes to in-game player changes I'm sub-optimal.
Williams and Koke recently came on for Spain and just click on the 'line-ups' section above if you want all the details.
One thing appears fairly clear, the German right-back position I mentioned earlier is seen as a weakness. Japan spotted that too, eventually, and Flick will need to address it ahead of the final, crucial match.
Another chance, this time it's for Asensio.
Great play all round, down the left on the counter, played across the edge of the area, stepped over to lay it on a plate for the Mallorcan, but he goes pitching wedge rather than firm putt.
That may be his last involvement.
Morata breaks the deadlock
GOAL!!!! Morata dinks home at the near post
Utterly typical after my last post that someone would score, and the substitute has proved to be inspired. A low cross from Alba is met at the front post by the striker, ahead of his chaser, and he pops it high past Neuer. Lovely stuff!
Group E: as it stands
A reminder, as we go through a period of not much happening, of how this table looks.
Both teams will likely be happy enough with a draw, putting all their eggs into their Game 3 basket, but it's worth noting that even a loss for Germany will not see them eliminated.
SAVE!! Initially a mistake from Spain's Simon hands the opponent time to fashion space, but the goalkeeper makes up for that with a very decent save as Kimmich tried to pick his spot.
It is indeed Morata to come on and Ferran Torres is making way
More action targeting Germany's right full-back position, this time Dani Olmo. Good running and trickery almost gets him away but he's forced into a stumble and the ball is lost.
With that, Luis Enrique thinks it's time for Morata!
Early chance in the second half for the Germans to use their weapon, as Rüdiger and other giants get themselves into position for a free-kick delivery from wide on the left.
Ah, it's wasted, too long and more than one attacking player clearly offside when it was taken.
Real Madrid fans can't wait to see this version of Marco Asensio back at the Bernabéu.
Sprinting away down the left wing before his cross is collected by Neuer just a reminder that he's more than subtle tricks and touches.
Peeep! We're back underway, Germany with the start.
So, how to sum up that first 45 or so minutes. Spain have shown that they are indeed good — i.e. it wasn't just a poor showing from Costa Rica that suggested it — but the Germans are certainly a sterner test, and that's not unexpected.
It's been another reminder that young Pedri is a class act, and the more Spain can get him on the ball, without being clattered by his tight marker, the more danger can be caused.
Olmo has linked up nicely with his teammates going forward but hasn't been given so much space to play with, but how different things could be had his shot, on the back of that passing move, not been touched away.
So, although Spain have impressed more, the Germans are very much still in this, and only a Rüdiger toe stopped them being ahead themselves.
Let's find out what happens next…
No (legal) goals but it has been an intriguing half and there's lots to talk about in my half-time mutterings, coming up soon…
Peeeeep! The referee bring the first half to an end. Time for some refreshments. I think we all deserve one.
Two more attacks from Spain end with solid blocking from a well organised German defence. And we'll head in at the break without any goals.
Just the two added minutes here.
Germany's number 2 is proving to be their most threatening player, with Rüdiger finding space wide of the right post and thumping a bouncing ball goalwards.
Simon is right behind it but can only block, but doing enough to clear things up with his defence.
Sergio Busquets goes into the book.
Did you know this is the Barça man's 15th appearance at the World Cup, putting him two behind the only player with more for Spain. Can you guess who?
That’s right, another Sergio, of the Ramos variety.
Rüdiger goal ruled out
Germany have the ball in the net. It's a sucker punch to the Spanish who leave Rüdiger all alone in the box to head home a free kick from the right.
The big defender has moved fractionally too early, though, and is, correctly, ruled offside.
Collective sigh of relief around Spain.
More pressure builds down the left side, winning a corner, and that results in Torres having another strike. It's well blocked but Spain getting more and more joy here.
The German's are matching them across the pitch and keeping things tight, but the quick passing is hard to contain forever.
INCHES OVER!!! A lightning break down the left ends with a low cross to Torres in the centre and he skies it when he really should have buried it.
To spare his blushes, the delayed flag goes up.
In most other teams, you be screaming at the defenders and goalkeeper to smack the ball as far away from danger as possible when they have three attackers bearing down on them. Not Spain, though.
Between Simon and his defenders, the assuredness is impressive, popping the ball around in the tight space.
Obviously the one time it goes wrong you'll have the outcry that it's too dangerous.
It was a thing of beauty if you like that sort of thing.
Spain head back upfield and is Torres who looks to step inside his marker and try his luck. A late blocking foot deflects it harmlessly back to Neuer and the danger is gone.
Is that the first shot Spain have faced in Qatar? Gnabry does well to control in the area and pull the trigger but it's well wide.
I think there was an offside in the build up so am not going to include that one. The minutes tick on…
CLOSE! Jordi Alba does well to add the overlap on the left and is found in space. He looks to trouble Neuer from distance but the Bayern stopper watches as the effort flies wide of his post.
We're 20 minutes into this game and Germany are yet to have a shot at goal. Add that to the complete game against Costa Rica and that feels quite impressive.
How long can Luis Enrique's men keep Simon so guarded?
Not much to write home about at the moment, more possession for Spain, but much deeper and so no danger to their opponents.
Goretzka getting around the pitch a lot but it could be a long night of chasing. It's settled somewhat from that initial Spanish wave and Germany doing their own pressing.
That said, Spain are pretty adept at playing out under pressure, or heading back to their goalkeeper, as we just witnessed.
Neuer save assessed
I can give you my view but so much better to have an experienced former goalkeeper to judge his modern peers.
First chance for the Germans, a breakaway from the constant pressure on their defence, and it's Gnabry who sees his attempt well blocked by the onrushing Simon.
Oh, the flag's up anyway so false excitement, if a breather for their fans.
Clang! A lovely right-footed hit from Olmo, on the edge of the box, is pushed by German's big keeper onto the underside of the crossbar.
Some really tidy exchanges from the Spanish in the final third reminding us of their first performance against Costa Rica.
Both sets of players have got some touches in but the first burst of adrenalin on the stands comes as Spain's high press pays dividends.
Pedri wins the ball, slides it out wide to Torres and, just as everyone (including me) is expecting the usual low cross between defenders and Neuer, he pulls it behind them to Asensio on the edge of the area. Half chance.
Spain get us going, shooting from left to right as I watch on, and wearing their normal all red as per the instructions of Luis Enrique.
Germany are in all white with a black stripe down the front of the shirts.
Early possession for La Roja…
Peeep! We're off
OK, singing, on the pitch at least, is over. Time to get down to business…
WORLD CUP 2022
Why is the German anthem called Deutschlandlied? Lyrics, translation and meaning
It's the turn of the Germans, but what do you know about their anthem? Again, we're here to help.
A hum-dinger of an anthem
Why aren't the Spanish players belting out their anthem?
That was the question that used to be asked often by ignorant commentators suggesting their passion may be lacking.
Don't be like them. Knowledge is good and we can help.
WORLD CUP 2022
Will Germany be eliminated from the World Cup if they lose against Spain?
As mentioned, Germany have been let off the hook. After springing a huge surprise by beating the Die Mannschaft in the opening match of the group stages, Japan lost to Costa Rica in today’s early kick-off, which tightens the group right back up.
Had the Samurai Blue won against the Central Americans, they would’ve found themselves on six points, with the Germans on none ahead of the clash with Spain, who looked hugely impressive in the 7-0 rout of Los Ticos on Wednesday.
Roddy takes you through the permutations.
Wow! That crept up on me a little, and the players are already in the tunnel readying themselves for battle.
Faces are very serious, the Germans especially knowing that a loss makes potential back–to-back group eliminations more likely.
WORLD CUP 2022
Spain vs Germany odds and predictions: Who is the favorite in the World Cup 2022 game?
Who is your hard earned cash on tonight?
I said earlier that I think it'll be very tight but there was so much to love about Spain that I think they'll find a way to get the job done tonight, possible by a single goal, or maybe two.
As you'll see just to the right of my chat, there is an option for you to share your own comments, whether to make your prediction or simply to mock mine!
Stream Spain vs Germany now
You can watch Spain vs Germany live stream on FuboTV
And you can also see the game with Spanish commentary on Peacock (free trial available)
It's not a bad view inside the stadium tonight and the atmosphere is seriously starting to build.
Luis Enrique vs Hansi Flick
We have around 30 minutes till kick-off here so why not use that time to read Miguel Delaney's piece on the two managers aiming to get the better of each other.
Here's a taster…
'As Luis Enrique was talking about how sex the night before games is fine, but an “orgy” is “not ideal”, Hansi Flick – well – was seeming metaphorically impotent.
'It was Ilkay Gundogan who had been the strongest voice in a crisis meeting after the defeat to Japan, where Germany’s somewhat unlucky display started to come apart as Flick desperately threw on more forwards.'
Wave your Özil about
Remember Mesut Özil? He used to flash the skills from time to time for Real Madrid and Arsenal among others.
Well, despite him taking no part in today's match, we may see his smiling face on multiple occasions around the stadium if these posters make it into the views of cameramen.
WORLD CUP 2022
Who is the referee for Spain vs Germany in the World Cup 2022 Group E second game?
Do you know Danny Makkelie?
He is the man in charge of the game at the Al Bayt stadium tonight and so is the one who you can blame when things don't go the way of your team. Alternatively, you can blame your own players for sloppiness, or maybe the manager and the coaching staff for poor planning and tactics.
Or, and this is a long shot, why not blame nobody, and just sit back and applaud the opponent for a job well done. Hah, no chance, I know.
WORLD CUP 2022
Why did Morocco goalkeeper Bono disappear before Belgium vs Morocco?
In case you missed it, there was a curious moment in one of today's earlier games as Morocco keeper Yassine Bono mysteriously disappeared down the tunnel after taking part in the pre-match national anthem before the Group F clash against Belgium.
We set our Roddy on the case to find out exactly what happened. See if you too can spot his musical pun.
Germany, "are you England in disguise?"
German boss Flick is under quite a bit of pressure coming into this game. Bare minimum is to, as the fans are saying, 'turn up' and perform to their best.
If that's not good enough then, thanks to the latest World Cup surprise result, a win against Japan's conquerers, Costa Rica, could be enough to get them through to the next round.
World Cup quality desired
You just need to cast your eye over the two sets of players below to know that this is going to be a good game. I have no doubts about it.
So, Chris, rest easy, this is not England (under SG).
Spain as expected, Havertz out for Germany
Flick has chosen to leave out Havertz and Schlotterbeck from the starting side here, which leaves Germany with Kimmich and Goretzka together, with Man City's solid Gündogan ahead of them.
Forget the opening games for these sides. I expect this one to be very close.
Starting XI: Germany
Hansi Flick maintains a decent sprinkling of Bayern Munich players, including keeping the faith, as he undoubtedly should, in young Jamal Musiala. He's not 20 until next February and what a prospect he is. Your full line up is:
Neuer, Rudiger, Raum, Kehrer, Kimmich, Goretzka, Gnabry, Muller, Musiala, Sule, Gundogan
Starting XI: Spain
With a backing track that rings of triumph and esteem, Luis Enrique's starters are announced in style. They are:
Unai Simón, Carvajal, Rodrigo, Laporte, Jordi Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Pedri, Asensio, Olmo, Ferrán Torres
I'm hearing some noises about team news being imminent. Give me a sec and I'll bring you that before returning to the game chat.
Group E: Germans add to Qatar shocks
Die Mannschaft may not be the force they once were but there is still enough talent to suggest they could progress deep into this tournament. For an hour of their first game, against Japan, there were signs that they would be battling it out in Game 2 with Spain to see who would top the group. Then it all went a bit wrong.
Two late goals against them and Hansi Flick's men were all over the place. When you only have three games to collect points, this was an example of how not to start things off.
Group E: Spain strut their stuff
If you've been hooked to our World Cup coverage on AS USA then you'll be very aware of the current state of this intriguing group. For the rest of you, allow me to summarise…
Spain were fast out the Qatari blocks, dominating Costa Rica like they were an under-12s team just in town to see the big stars on show. The score was 7-0 but in all honestly, it could have been several more.
Many people pointed to the South Americans' weaknesses rather than it being a complete statement of intent from the Europeans, but we were to learn that they may not be the pushovers we first thought.
WORLD CUP 2022
Germany face humiliation for second consecutive World Cup
After an embarrassing group stage exit from the World Cup in Russia in 2018, Germany are hoping for a change of fate in this year’s tournament. History is not on their side against Spain though, as Germany have won just one of their last seven games against them. Their most recent meeting saw the Germans lose 6-0 in the Euro ‘88.
“I don’t think it matters. It was two years ago,” said German player Julian Brandt. “I think we are in a different situation now. We have improved in many, many areas.”
“We are now in this shitty situation,” said Brandt. “But in the end, Sunday is a chance to turn around this whole mood here again.”
Let's have a look at that shitty situation…
Spain keeping their heads
There's nothing like a little head tennis in a crowded penalty area for the traditionalists, but it's less exciting in training.
The Spanish lads seemed keener to be getting in fluids than anything else.
WORLD CUP 2022
Spain vs Germany times, how to watch on TV, stream online, World Cup 2022
As well as keeping track of my own mutterings during the game, you may also want to see the action for yourself.
Lucky for you we have this neat little guide to help you fulfil your goals.
Spain vs Germany live: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you from the Al Bayt stadium in Qatar, and it's certainly not the type of evening conditions most of our players tonight are used to as we edge closer to December.
Spain vs Germany was one of the stand-out group clashes when the draw was made, but the two European heavyweights couldn't have had more contrasting starts to their campaign. More on that in a bit.
This is where we begin the build up, and I'll take you right through to the final whistle and post-match reactions. Let's go…
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Group E: as it stands