Champions-In-Waiting? Germany and Spain Face-Off in “Clash of the Titans”

At 18:00 local time tonight, Stuttgart plays host to Germany versus Spain.

Officially, it is a European Championship Quarter-Final, but the winner will be confident of becoming Euro 2024 winners.

The joint record EURO winners are the leading scorers in 2024, have conjured the most attempts on target, lead the way in terms of passing accuracy and have conceded just three goals between them. 

Spain cruised to the top of Group B with comfortable victories over Croatia, Italy and Albania. 

In the round of 16, Georgia were dismantled 4-1, with goals from Rodri, Fabián Ruiz, Williams and Olmo.

Hosts, Germany, started the tournament in style.

An electric 5-1 win versus Scotland was followed by victory over Hungary and a late draw against Switzerland to seal the top spot of Group A.

A 2-0 win vs Denmark in the round of 16 was almost faultless.

A match of equals

Looking ahead of the battle with Spain, Germany captain, İlkay Gündoğan expressed his excitement for the match-up:

“It will definitely be a match of equals… The two sides are probably playing the best football in the tournament at the moment. It will come down to who deals better with not having the ball at times and not panicking.”

Barcelona’s Gündoğan will come face to face with club-mates past (Rodri) and present (Lamine Yamal).

Not a final

However, Germany coach, Julian Nagelsmann warned his side to not get ahead of themselves:

“It’s not a final, it’s a quarter-final. We want to be one of the teams in the semi-final. Spain want to be champions as well, so it’ll be a tough game. Both teams are good in possession, have good counter-pressing qualities and can put their opponents under pressure.”

Luis de la Fuente, the Spain coach, struck a similarly cautious tone:

“It’s going to be an equal game. It could have been the EURO final and I think it’ll be an even game on a footballing level. Germany always start matches strongly, so obviously we’ll try and counter that. We’ll try and take the initiative and go all-out from the first minute.”

Clash of the titans

In contrast, Spain journalist, Graham Hunter, did not underestimate the significance of the Quarter-Final:

“A clash of the titans. Perhaps the two best teams so far at EURO 2024; a simply unmissable match. Why do I have such faith that La Roja can halt Germany and continue what I think can be a surge to their fourth title? Because the planning, talent, confidence, attitude, quality and, crucially, solutions, are at such a high level. May the better team win.”

The better team will, however, have to overcome Portugal or France in Munich (21:00) on Tuesday. With the winner booking their place in the final on July 14th.

There is still a long way to go before the 2024 European Championship winner is crowned.

GGFN | Oscar O’Mara


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