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Preview: Germany vs. Spain - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's UEFA Nations League clash between Germany and Spain, including team news and predicted lineups.

Germany and Spain are back in action for the first time in 10 months as they face off in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday evening.

The European heavyweights are battling for a place in next year's finals and are joined in Group A4 by Switzerland and Ukraine.

Match preview

Germany's Serge Gnabry celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on November 19, 2019© Reuters

Spain thrashed Romania 5-0 in their most recent outing on November 18 to round off a successful Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in style.

La Roja comfortably finished top of Group F with eight wins and two draws, although there was a fair bit of turmoil off the pitch.

Five months after stepping down as head coach for personal reasons, Luis Enrique returned last November, much to the dismay of Robert Moreno.

Enrique took over from where Moreno left off by getting the 2010 World Cup winners successfully over the line in a stress free manner.

Indeed, Spain are now unbeaten in 11 matches since a 3-2 loss at the hands of Croatia in the inaugural Nations League, which ended in real disappointment.

Spain finished second to England and missed out on a place in the finals, but that will undoubtedly be their target this time around.

Spain's Gerard Moreno celebrates scoring their second goal on November 18, 2019© Reuters

Likewise, Joachim Low will be keen to improve on his side's last campaign in this competition, having finished bottom of a three-team group containing France and the Netherlands.

Germany are in a much better position now, though, thanks to seven wins in their last eight competitive matches, the exception being a 4-2 loss against the Dutch.

Low's men follow up this showdown with Spain in Stuttgart with a trip to last year's semi-finalists Switzerland three days later, and six points from six will likely be the aim for Die Mannschaft.

Spain host Ukraine in their second Group A4 match, meanwhile - a tougher match on paper than it may seem, with Andriy Shevchenko's men in good form.

With Spain and Germany among the favourites to win the competition, and Ukraine and Switzerland proving their quality over the past two years, this could well prove to be the most entertaining of the groups.

Germany form: LWDWWW

Spain form: WWDDWW

Team News

Matthias Ginter pictured after scoring for Germany on November 16, 2019© Reuters

Low has named a 22-man squad for this double-header, but he has left out the players who made it to the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League in August.

Bayern Munich treble winners Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka will therefore play no part, while RB Leipzig pair Marcel Halstenberg and Lukas Klostermann are also absent.

However, Niklas Sule is an exception having battled back from a long-term injury in the closing stages of the 2019-20 campaign.

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus has earned his first call-up, meanwhile, and Atalanta BC's Robin Gosens is also in line for a first cap.

As for Spain, Enrique has named a fairly youthful squad that includes a first call-up for Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati, along with Eric Garcia, Ferran Torres and Oscar Rodriguez.

Pacey Wolverhampton Wanderers wideman Adama Traore is also included for the first time, but he tested positive for coronavirus at the weekend and is therefore expected to miss both upcoming games.

Jordi Alba, Saul Niguez, Alvaro Morata, Isco and Diego Costa have all been left out of the squad.

Germany possible starting lineup:
Leno; Kehrer, Sule, Ginter, Gosens; Gundogan, Kroos; Sane, Havertz, Brandt; Werner

Spain possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Navas, Ramos, P.Torres, Reguilon; Fabian, Busquets, Thiago; F.Torres, Rodrigo, Fati

SM words green background

We say: Germany 1-1 Spain

Form will count for little on Thursday given the 10-month gap between matches for both sides.

Seven of the 23 previous encounters between the sides have finished all square, with Germany unbeaten in the last two.

Their last friendly in March 2018 finished 1-1 and we are tipping this competitive clash to finish the same way.


Who will win Thursday's UEFA Nations League clash between Germany and Spain?

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