Germany vs Spain - Combined XI
Forming a dream XI of the best players from La Roja and Deutschland
Reigning world champions Germany will begin their preparations to retain the World Cup crown by hosting rivals Spain in an international friendly at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.
The European heavyweights last met in a competitive fixture when the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup pitted them against each other, as La Roja edged Deutschland in a closely fought 1-0 victory. And should both sides finish atop their respective groups in the Russian showpiece, another encounter in the last four awaits us.
So the dress rehearsals for the same begin with this one. Here's how they would stack up in a combined line-up featuring the best from both camps.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Spain/Manchester United)
Manuel Neuer's long-term injury means David De Gea walks straight into our combined XI, or any other line-up in the world for that matter; for the Manchester United shot-stopper continues to go from strength to strength even while the rest of his team blows hot and cold.
De Gea has kept 15 cleansheets in 30 domestic appearances this term, the most in the Premier League at this stage, and only loses out to Everton's Jordan Pickford in the number of average saves per game. The Spaniard's rich vein of form is one of the instrumental reasons for Red Devils sitting pretty in the second place.
A vital figure in Julen Lopetegui's set-up, De Gea is just as important to Spain's fortunes too, and the former world champions would go a long way if he were to replicate the good performances in the main event too.