The Stuttgart’s MHPArena atmosphere will be intense on Friday as two European powerhouses, Spain and Euro 2024 hosts Germany, vie for a historic fourth European Championship crown.

The winner of this highly anticipated tie will advance to face either Portugal or France in the semifinals.

After sweeping through their group stage with a perfect record, a feat unseen since 2008, Spain continued their dominance by overcoming Georgia 4-1 in the round of 16 showdown.

The match began with La Roja conceding their first goal of the tournament when Robin Le Normand inadvertently scored an own goal in the 18th minute, momentarily putting Georgia ahead.

However, Rodri’s equalizer just before halftime rejuvenated Spain, ahead of a commanding second-half performance.

Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams and Dani Olmo each found the net impressively, securing Spain’s victory and extending their unbeaten streak in European Championship matches to an impressive 10 games, excluding penalty shootouts.

Statistical review

Luis de la Fuente’s youthful squad has dazzled throughout the tournament, reaching the quarterfinals for the fourth time in their last five Euro appearances.

Their compelling form has drawn praise from notable figures like Germany’s Joshua Kimmich, who labeled Spain as the standout team of the summer.

Ranked eighth globally by FIFA, Spain enter Friday’s tie with confidence, having not lost to Die Mannschaft in their last six competitive encounters (W3 D3) dating back to 1998, including a memorable 1-1 draw at the 2022 World Cup.

Memories of past triumphs over Germany, such as Fernando Torres’ decisive goal in the Euro 2008 final and Ferran Torres’ hat trick in a resounding 6-0 victory in the UEFA Nations League, add to Spain’s optimism.

However, history presents a challenge, as Spain have never defeated a host nation in Euros or World Cup knockout stages, a streak spanning back to 1934.

On the other hand, Germany’s quest for European glory is gathering momentum as they march toward their first championship title since 1996.

Last Saturday, the hosts battled past a resilient Denmark side, securing a 2-0 victory amid a backdrop of dramatic weather and contentious VAR decisions.

A thunderstorm, punctuated by lightning strikes, provided a dramatic prelude to Germany’s triumph, highlighted by second-half goals from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala.

Germany players celebrate after the goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 match against Denmark at Football Stadium Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany, June 29, 2024. (Getty Images Photo)

Musiala’s strike elevated him to join the leading scorers of Euro 2024, with three goals to his name.

Heading into the quarterfinals, Germany boast impressive statistics, ranking among the top three in goals scored (10), total attacks (265), attempts on goal (71), possession (62%), and goals conceded (2) at Euro 2024.

Despite recent challenges that saw Germany drop to 16th in the FIFA World Rankings before Nagelsmann’s tenure, their resurgence is evident.

They have won two of their last 11 encounters with Spain across all competitions, their most recent victory being a narrow 1-0 friendly triumph in November 2014, sealed by a late Toni Kroos strike.

Looking ahead to their clash with Spain, Germany hold a promising record on home turf, unbeaten in their last eight meetings with La Roja (W5 D3).

Moreover, history favors the hosts, as no nation has ever been eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of a European Championship while hosting the tournament.

Lineup options

De la Fuente is set to maintain continuity in his lineup for Friday’s pivotal clash, keeping faith in a familiar starting eleven.

Leading the charge in attack will be 16-year-old Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal alongside Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams, supporting captain Alvaro Morata in a potent three-man forward line.

While competition for midfield spots remains fierce, Dani Olmo and Mikel Merino are vying to start alongside stalwarts Pedri, Rodri, and Fabian Ruiz in the heart of Spain’s formation.

Defensively, Nacho Fernandez has recovered from a minor foot injury, bolstering options in central defense alongside Le Normand or Aymeric Laporte.

The full-back positions are likely to be retained by Dani Carvajal and Marc Cucurella, ensuring stability and experience in Spain’s backline.

On the German side, the return of center-back Jonathan Tah, after serving a suspension, poses a potential shift in defense, challenging Nico Schlotterbeck’s starting role.

Maximilian Mittelstadt, eager for a return to action, aims to reclaim his place at left-back ahead of David Raum, while Florian Wirtz eyes a comeback on the left flank, potentially displacing Leroy Sane. This adjustment would allow Jamal Musiala to shift to the right side of attack.

In the midfield, the trio of Toni Kroos, Robert Andrich, and captain İlkay Gündoğan is poised to retain their cohesion, anchoring Germany’s strategic play.

Up front, Kai Havertz is expected to maintain his pivotal role as the central striker, building on his dynamic contributions throughout the tournament.

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