International Friendly [Preview]: Germany vs Spain

Germany are at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf for Friday night’s friendly meeting against Spain. Joachim Loew’s side are being widely fancied to preserve their champions crown at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the upcoming game against La Roja should give a fair reflection of their capabilities ahead of the showpiece tournament.

Unlike Germany, Spain underperformed at the previous edition of the World Cup in Brazil, where they were surprisingly ousted in the group stage. They have since been eliminated in the last 16 stage of Euro 2016, and this has pushed the need for a midfield transition with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Juan Mata being axed from the squad.

Players to watch for:

Mesut Ozil – Germany: The Arsenal midfielder has the trend of putting in sparkling performances for the national side, where he is surrounded by the likes of Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane, who are able to judge his range of passing. Ozil often finds it difficult against physically-built teams, but against La Roja, he has a better chance of getting more of the ball, which in turn, brings the best out of him. Despite his critics at club level, Ozil’s commitment with Germany has never doubted, and he does not mind putting in a defensive challenge or two.

Diego Costa – Spain: Costa’s chances of making the World Cup were at risk earlier in the season, where he was on an indefinite strike at Chelsea. Since then, the Spain international has sealed his return to Atletico Madrid, where he has commanded a regular spot alongside Antoine Griezmann. Costa has managed to score just once in the last five appearances for Atleti, but he is still a solid option for La Roja up front owing to his brilliant link-up play and physicality in the box. Costa has been picked ahead of Morata in the squad, and the striker truly deserves his position, considering the latter failed to score in 13-straight games prior to last weekend.

Prediction:

An international friendly is always difficult to predict, but the World Cup champions should have the edge with the home advantage up on offer, Germany 2-1 Spain. We are backing Ozil to contribute an assist and Costa to score on his Spain comeback.

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