Spain v Germany: Visitors to clinch finals spot

Two European heavyweights go toe-to-toe in Seville, with a place in the Nations League finals at stake. Our Bundesliga columnist Kevin Hatchard believes the Germans can at least clinch the point they need.

Spain v Germany
Tuesday 17 November, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Red Button

New-look Spain have a shot at redemption

It's fair to say that Sergio Ramos had an eventful night in the 1-1 draw with Switzerland. He made his 177th appearance for Spain, which means he is now the most capped European player of all time. He produced a stunning goal-line clearance to prevent Switzerland from going 2-0 up, but then missed two penalties. Both were saved by Yann Sommer, and the second was as bad an attempt at a Panenka as you'll see.

Fortunately for Ramos, his team-mates managed to dig out an 89th-minute equaliser, as Gerard Moreno smashed the ball home from close range. That goal means that Luis Enrique's side can still qualify for next year's Nations League finals, but only if they win this final game.

Alvaro Morata could be restored to the attack, while goalkeeper Unai Simon had some shaky moments against Switzerland, and could be replaced by David De Gea. Thiago, Rodrigo and Ansu Fati are all injured.

Germany improving, but old frailties remain

Germany's "Turbo Trio" was put to good use against Ukraine on Saturday, as Jogi Loew's side stormed to a 3-1 win. Leroy Sane and Timo Werner scored the three German goals between them, while Serge Gnabry got into some good goalscoring positions. Loew hopes that the pace and finishing quality of those three will provide the platform for an assault on the Euros next summer, but the Bundestrainer knows that there are issues elsewhere in the team.

A depleted Ukraine took the lead in Leipzig, and had other chances to score. Germany have now gone eight Nations League matches without a clean sheet, and Loew knows that if his offensively-minded 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 systems are to work, there has to be a better balance between attack and defence. Reaching the Nations League finals by avoiding defeat against Spain would provide evidence that Loew is on the right track, and was correct to sideline big names and big personalities like Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller.

Toni Kroos is expected to return to the starting XI after suspension, but Joshua Kimmich is still out with a knee injury. Antonio Rudiger is suspended, so Robin Koch could drop back from midfield.

Spain's home record is a distraction

Spain have won their last eight home games including friendlies, but this high-pressure game in Seville is their biggest test for a long time. For all of their defensive issues, Germany haven't lost a game since a dismal defeat to the Netherlands in September 2019. There are signs that their super-charged attack is starting to really click, with Loew making the point that Gnabry, Sane and Werner are learning not to make the same movements as each other.

Spain have some key players missing, and there's still a sense that Luis Enrique doesn't know what his best team is. I'd back Germany Draw No Bet at 2.18, or alternatively you can use the Same Game Multi to combine a Germany/Draw Double Chance bet with Over 1.5 Goals at 1.97.

A staggering 21 of Germany's last 22 matches have featured at least two goals.

If you are purely looking at a goals angle, you should consider backing both teams to score at 1.69. That bet has landed in Germany's last seven UNL games, and four of Spain's last seven.

Werner to strike again?

Chelsea striker Timo Werner is in great form for club and country, having scored seven goals in his last five appearances. He has scored in every single one of those games. He is a chunky 2/1 to score at any time, and I think that's a great bet. Gnabry is even bigger at 5/2, while Sane is 7/2.

On the Spanish side of things, Sergio Ramos is 9/2 to return to the scoresheet (he has 23 international goals), while Morata is 13/8, and has looked very sharp recently for Juventus.

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