Spain’s midfielder #09 Gavi (C) takes part in a training session at the Qatar University in Doha on November 26, 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Spain and Germany. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Two European heavy weights who kicked off their 2022 World Cup campaigns in contrasting fashion lock horns at the Al Bayt Stadium today, as high-flying Spain confront an out-of-sorts Germany outfit.

While La Roja secured their biggest-ever World Cup win last time out, Die Mannschaft were condemned to one of their most embarrassing defeats on the world’s biggest stage and are now at risk of elimination from Group E.

Since they were crowned world champions in 2010, Spain have endured a difficult period on the biggest international stage, with elimination at the group stage in 2014 followed by a last-16 exit on penalties against 2018 hosts Russia.

However, a statement victory over Germany could thrust La Roja back into the conversation of contenders to go all the way in this year’s tournament in Qatar and would all but secure their place in the knockout rounds before their final group clash against Japan.

Four years on from a humiliating group-stage exit at the World Cup in Russia, Germany are at risk of another disappointing departure at the first hurdle following their shock 2-1 defeat against Japan on Wednesday.

Hopes of winning a record-equalling fifth world title already seem a tall order for Die Mannschaft and they will now seek to avoid losing successive group-stage games at the same World Cup tournament for the first time. 

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