Spain and Germany meet in Seville on Tuesday in a match that will decide who finishes top of UEFA Nations League Group A4.
La Roja had come into this month’s international break in pole position to top the standings, but they could only draw 1-1 in Switzerland on Saturday, while Germany came from behind to beat Ukraine 3-1 on the same night.
Those results saw Joachim Low’s side move a point clear at the top of the group and it means they only have to avoid defeat on Tuesday to secure top spot and book their place in next year’s semi-finals, while Spain must win if they are to overhaul their fellow heavyweights.
That could be easier said than done for Luis Enrique’s side, however, as Spain have failed to win any of their last three meetings with Germany since Carles Puyol scored the only goal in the 2010 World Cup semi-finals.
No Pain for Ukraine in Lucerne
Tuesday’s other match in Group A4 also still has plenty riding on it, with Switzerland and Ukraine battling it out to avoid finishing bottom of the standings and being relegated from the top tier.
Switzerland will have home advantage on their side in Lucerne, but all the pressure appears to be on Vladimir Petkovic’s side, as they must win the game if they are to survive and better the 2-1 result Ukraine achieved when the two sides met in the reverse fixture back in September.
Winning is not something that has come easy for the Swiss of late, as they have failed to triumph in any of their last seven games, a run that dates back nearly a calendar year.
That being said, Ukraine have not been good on the road recently, losing each of their last four, but prior to that they had picked up notable results in Italy and Portugal, so they will fancy their chances of getting the point they need in this one.
France to Compound Swedish Misery
France have already guaranteed top spot in Group A3 courtesy of their 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday, but they will be determined to gain another positive result against Sweden at the Stade de France after losing at the venue to Finland in a friendly last week.
Sweden, for their part, are bottom of the group and are battling it out with Croatia to avoid relegation from the top tier.
Both teams are locked together on three points and have identical records from their head-to-head meetings, but it is World Cup finalists Croatia who sit above Sweden in the standings by virtue of goals scored.
With Croatia playing host to Portugal in the group’s other match, Sweden will know they are likely to need a favourable result in France if they are to survive.
That looks like being easier said than done, however, as Sweden have lost three of the last four meetings between the two sides and they have not beaten Les Bleus on French soil since 1952.
*All odds correct at time of writing