Germany vs Spain

Germany vs Spain Preview: Unproductive vs Misfiring?

On the face of it, the World Cup is going swimmingly for those two European footballing powerhouses, Germany and Spain. With a win under their belt after their opening fixtures, both teams look to be on target for a comfortable progression into the knock-out round of the competition.

Although they face one another on Wednesday in what should be the deciding match for the group winner, a final group match against South Africa for Germany and China for Spain would suggest that both of these sides would make it through to the Round of 16.

But scorelines can be deceiving. On Saturday, Germany struggled to a 1-0 win over China in a match that China will have been disappointed to have come out of without at least a point. As Michael Caley’s xG map of the game shows, while Germany maintained pressure throughout the game, they did not translate their control into good chances. China, on the other hand, although they gave up possession and looked to counter-attack their opponents, ended up running out with the best chances in the game. Read More

Germany vs China Preview

Germany vs China Preview: Germans out to make a fresh start

Two dark horses of the World Cup meet in the opening match of Group B. Who will win in the clash of Germany vs China: the more physical Europeans or the more technical Asian side?

Both the men’s and the women’s German national team are usually considered to be competitive at international tournaments no matter the circumstances. But just like Joachim Low’s players disappointed in France last year, their female counterparts did the year prior when they were knocked out in the EURO’s quarterfinals against Denmark.

Between 1995 and 2013, the Germans defended the EURO championship at every tournament, but somewhere after that, the train derailed and has never gotten back on track. Steffi Jones, a former German international, was supposed to be the saviour, yet she had to go following the disappointing display in 2017.

While Jones‘s appointment was often linked with political power play, since she has strong ties with the German FA, now-national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg seemed to be the more qualified candidate. But Voss-Tecklenburg appeared as a harsh critic towards the FA and was forced to work her way up by leading the Swiss national team onto the international stage.

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World Cup 2018, Day 14 Review: Deutschland viertes? Mein Gott!

Hmm, where shall we start today? How about with Germany’s worst World Cup performance since 1938, would that interest you?

Before we look at today’s game specifically, consider this: Germany’s expected goal difference in their three games (in order) has been +0.51, +0.80 and a remarkable +1.91 today. Three games is a small sample, and clearly finishing has torpedoed Germany here. Never has that been reflected more than in their game with Korea Republic.

Our man of the match for the game was Mats Hummels, and that feels a choice which passes the eye test. However, the biggest portion of his points tally came from shots.

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World Cup 2018, Day 10 Review: Kroos Control

After we saw a five goal game to open the tournament, and a six goal classic the following day, the goals had dried up a little at the 2018 World Cup. Belgium and Tunisia sorted that out though, by scoring seven between them in the first match on day 10.

Eden Hazard was our man of the match in Belgium’s 3-0 win over Panama, and he repeated the trick here. What made it more remarkable was that he only played 67 minutes, yet logged the third best match performance at this World Cup.

You get an indication from the chart here of how he and his colleagues had Tunisia penned back during his time in the match. Yet his replacement, Michy Batshuayi, did even better on a points-per-minute basis. Read More

World Cup 2018, Day 4 Review: Mexico stunned the holders

Day three (which we reviewed here) was notable for the fact five penalties were awarded. There were only four goals in total on Sunday, but there was still plenty of quality on display and a very notable result.

There’s only one place to start, and that’s with Mexico’s 1-0 win over Germany. Juan Carlos Osorio’s team fully deserved their victory, but the top performer on our system was Toni Kroos.

While the Real Madrid man made some impressive attacking passes, his defensive work was arguably more notable. He made 10 ball recoveries, which would be a lot anyway, but when your side has 67 percent of the possession, it’s colossal.

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