World Cup pre-game: Germany vs. Spain
Germany vs. Spain, semifinals
Date and location
Wednesday, July 7, Durban Stadium, Durban
Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (1:30 p.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.
Watch the Rogers pre-game show one hour before kickoff as our panel of soccer experts provides up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.
To watch the show, CLICK HERE
What's at stake
A berth in the World Cup final against the Netherlands, to be contested in Soccer City in Johannesburg on July 11. Loser drops to the third-place game against Uruguay, to be contested in Port Elizabeth Stadium in Port Elizabeth on July 10.
Player to watch for Germany
Mesut Ozil — Forget billing Ozil as the German "midfielder of the future." Ozil has arrived, so much so that he is one of the contenders for the Golden Ball award at the World Cup. The 21-year-old (yes, twenty-one) attacking mid is the pivot point of the devastating German counterattack. He has limitless energy along with passing and scoring instincts years beyond his age.
Player to watch for Spain
Iker Casillas — Striker David Villa may have sent Spain through to the semis with his winner late in the match against Paraguay, but top-class keeper Casillas was the real hero, stopping a penalty kick when the game was tied and then making a massive save late in the game to keep Spain ahead. Germany hasn't seen a keeper of his quality yet, and he's in top form, only allowing two goals so far in the tournament.
Matchup to watch
David Villa vs. Miroslav Klose — There are key matchups all over the pitch in this mouth-watering tie, but this could be the one that decides the game. Spain's Villa and Germany's Klose have been the utterly reliable and deadly points of their teams' attacks in South Africa. Villa, the Euro 2008 leading scorer, is tops at the World Cup with five goals while Klose, the 2006 World Cup Golden Boot winner, sits one goal behind. The striker who makes the best out of his chances in front of the net may be the one who contends for the World Cup with his side in Johannesburg on July 11.
Germany is entering the match fully fit.
Spain's big worry is top striker Cesc Fabregas, who is nursing both shoulder and leg injuries. This will pose a problem for coach Vicente del Bosque, who was mulling over whether to replace struggling starter Fernando Torres with Fabregas.
Only one suspension to note, but it's a doozy — in-form German striker Thomas Muller, who has scored three goals in his last two games, is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
The German perspective
"Obviously we respect [Spain], but we have the potential to go far. It goes without saying that, as of now, we want more." — midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger
The Spanish perspective
"Germany have had a brilliant World Cup so far. But we too are at the top of our game. I think it will be a great match." — midfielder Andres Iniesta
World Cup head-to-head
Spain has faced Germany once at the World Cup, in 1994, and faced West Germany twice before that.
But no clash was bigger than the match between the two sides in the Euro 2008 final. Fernando Torres was the hero in Vienna, scoring in the 33rd minute to give Spain a 1-0 victory and its second European title.
The biggest World Cup match the two sides have had came in Spain 1982. West Germany ended Spain's hopes of hoisting the World Cup on home soil by beating La Roja 2-0 in Madrid, eliminating the squad from the tournament in the second group phase.
West Germany defeated Spain 2-1 in the group phase of the 1966 World Cup in England. Germany and Spain tied 1-1 in the group phase of the 1994 tournament hosted by the United States.