Germany opens up their World Cup against Japan in the group stages, but their most difficult opponent in the group will arguably be Spain, whom they play second. The last time these two nations met, Spain shocked Germany by winning 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League back in November of 2020, just half a year before going into a delayed Euro 2020. The aforementioned tournament marked the end of the Joachim Low era for Die Mannschaft, paving the way for Hansi Flick to take over shortly after securing what was a historic sextuple with Bayern Munich.
Serge Gnabry is going into the World Cup on the back end of a fine run of form for Bayern, having scored four goals in the last two Bundesliga wins against Werder Bremen and Schalke 04. His tally for the season across all competitions is now 10 goals and 10 assists from a total of 23 appearances. He’s come to life at a crucial time for both Bayern, who now sit atop the Bundesliga table, and for Germany, who desperately need to do FAR better in Qatar than they did in Russia, and in England in the Euros, for that matter.
In a recent interview with FIFA (via @iMiaSanMia), Gnabry looked ahead to what will be the pivotal match of group E between Germany in Spain in Al Khor. “We want to win. I think it will be decisive in terms of winning the group or finishing in the top two. We have to win the match and we want to win it. We still have the memory of our last defeat, so we want to make amends for that,” he explained.
He also added that there’s no one in the group that Germany will be taking lightly, knowing that, on paper, Spain will be their strongest, most difficult opponent. “We know that our last game against Spain wasn’t very good. I wouldn’t underestimate Japan. They’ve got a lot of players who play at the highest level, for example in the Bundesliga or in the Premier League,” he stressed.