Germany vs Spain – the key head-to-head clashes
With personal and collective rivalries renewed, Germany’s semi-final clash with Spain will be bursting with numerous scores to settle.
David Villa vs Per Mertesacker
Having already notched five goals at the World Cup, Villa is 4/11 to win the Golden Shoe, and he will be Spain’s primary goal threat.
Villa’s pace and darting runs from wide left positions will severely test Mertesacker’s limited agility, though the Werder Bremen centre-back’s positional awareness will compensate for such a weakness.
Xavi vs Bastian Schweinsteiger
Central midfield will be a pivotal battleground, with two of the world’s leading playmakers vying for supremacy.
Xavi is the conduit for Spain’s every move, and his metronomic distribution skills will be integral to La Roja’s influence on the game.
Operating from a similarly deep position, Schweinsteiger is the central launch-pad for German attacks. His positional discipline will also be important, as his ability to intercept opponents’ passes is one of Germany’s main sources of regaining possession.
Sergio Busquets vs Mesut Ozil
Barcelona’s Busquets has enjoyed somewhat of an armchair ride as Spain’s holding midfielder, as his side have yet to face a side who have dared to take them on in midfield.
Ozil, however, is a dynamic player whose movement will stretch Busquets. The 21-year-old Ozil is 14/1 to score first, and his inventive passing and ability to shoot from distance could hurt Spain.
Sergio Ramos vs Lukas Podolski
In a fascinating repeat of their Euro 2008 final duel, Ramos and Podolski will be evenly matched in terms of pace, work ethic and their decidedly attacking attitudes.
Ramos may play at right-back, but his tendency to push forward leaves dangerous gaps in the Spanish defence, which Podolski will be looking to exploit.
Podolski is 7/1 to open the scoring, and his devastating link-up play with Ozil and Miroslav Klose will pose Spain with numerous and constant problems.
Who will triumph in this evenly-matched contest? Germany are 13/8 to win. See the full Germany vs Spain market.