Germany and Spain go head-to-head in a crunch Group B fixture of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in Valenciennes on Thursday. Both teams won their opening games, but not before surviving scares.
Spain were down a goal to World Cup-debutants South Africa, before winning 3-1 after their opponents were reduced to ten players. Germany huffed and puffed their way to a 1-0 victory as well.
Kickoff time: 18:00 local time (21:30 IST, 17:00 BST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Live telecast: Sony Pictures Network (in India), BBC One (in UK)
Germany were far from their best in an enormously frustrating victory in their opening Group B fixture against China. Yet, as that cliche goes, they will be happy to have showed a trait of champions in being able to win even while being a long way from their best.
Teenager Giulia Gwinn stepped up with a sweet strike from outside the box in thesecond half, in her first competitive appearance for the country.
For the Spanish, it could well be a case having to leave that first half against South Africa out of their system and restart against what is still a pedigreed German side.
Jennifer Hermoso, who scored two penalties to bring the Spaniards back into the game against South Africa, will once again be the one that they look up to. 20-year-old Lucia Garcia, who made sure of the points against South Africa, could well be in line for a starting spot.
Garcia had come off the bench to good effect in their opening game, and it will not be a surprise to see her in the starting XI.
In what should be a close contest, and an exciting duel between two of Europe's best teams, the Germans should believe they have got enough quality to ward off the Spain threat.
Prediction: Germany 2-1 SpainPublished 12 Jun 2019, 17:09 IST