In contrast, Spain, Japan and Belgium have the opportunity to secure a ticket to the round of 16 in their second match.
"Of course, these are not the best conditions, but we have enough quality to win this game!" Hansi Flick, the German coach, was even "optimistic" on the eve of this poster - on paper - of the first round.
The conditions mentioned by Flick? The surprise defeat of his team against Japan to start this Qatari World Cup (2-1).
As a result of this terrible misstep, Germany must beat Spain to regain control of its destiny and above all to avoid reliving the failure of the 2018 World Cup, when it left the competition in the 1st round.
Opposite, Spain advances confident, after having crushed Costa Rica (7-0), for this evening match (8:00 p.m.) which will qualify it for the 1/8 in case of success.
"We are in good shape, we have clear ideas," said Spanish striker Marco Asensio without boasting. "It's a solid selection with great players. We know we're going to face a very complicated match," he continued.
- Seville's nightmare -
Coming from the biggest clubs, the "huge" players mentioned will be on both sides and the outcome of the match will probably depend on these duels.
Who of Manuel Neuer (36), with a long record like his arms, or Unai Simon, the young Spanish goalkeeper, will be the most decisive in front of his goals? Which of Kimmich, the German, or Gavi, the Spaniard, will be master of the middle? And who from Havertz or Morata will silence his German and Spanish detractors at the forefront of the attack?
Last element that does not plead in favor of the Germans, the last face-to-face.
On November 20, 2020, in Seville, the Iberians brought to life a "nightmare" evening at the deposed Mannschaft, 6-0 in the League of Nations.
Mannschaft midfielder Julian Brandt assures that this memory will "not play a role". Have. But the fate of the Germans will also depend on the result of their players in the first match. If they lose, a victory for Japan earlier in the day against Costa Rica (11:00 am) will eliminate them without even having to wait for the third and final game.
And the Japanese have some arguments to make their way to the 1/8 finals, for the third time in the last five Worlds (2002, 2010 and 2018).
Costa Rica certainly faced one of the best teams in the world in the first match, but the score (7-0) and the way against Spain highlighted a worrying level. Like the Parisian goalkeeper Keylor Navas, far from his standards.
Refusing any euphoria, the Japanese captain Maya Yoshida summoned his people to "stay calm" and "well concentrated on the plan (of the game, Ed) which will allow us to obtain victory."
"We haven't finished yet. The spotlight is on us," added the defender, convinced that the Costa Ricans "will fight for the pride of their country".
- Croatia up against the wall -
In the other group of the day, F, Belgium has the opportunity to join France, the first country qualified for the 1/8 finals on Saturday.
To do this, the 2018 semi-finalists, winners without shining or seducing, from Canada in the opening (1-0), will have to beat Morocco.
The Moroccans, authors of a draw against Croatia at the start (0-0), advance, logically leaving the Belgians the favorite costume (2:00 p.m.).
"The favorite is Belgium, whether you like it or not, said Walid Regragui, the coach. They have a fantastic coach, world-class players like De Bruyne, Hazard or Witsel, and look at the bench that they have with (Michy) Batshuayi or (Romelu) Lukaku..."
For its part, Croatia, finalist of the World Cup-2018, has no choice and must beat Canada, under penalty of being in great danger.