Luis Enrique has stated Spain will not “gamble” by enjoying for a second-place end in Thursday’s closing World Cup group match in opposition to Japan within the hope of avoiding a potential quarterfinal conflict with favourites Brazil.
Spain gained their opening recreation in opposition to Costa Rica 7-0 earlier than Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Germany to go away them high of Group E on 4 factors, forward of Japan and Costa Rica on three factors, with Germany backside of the group with one level.
The winners of the group will face the runners-up in Group F — Morocco, Croatia or Belgium — within the spherical of 16 earlier than a quarterfinal with the winners of Group G, more likely to be Brazil, or the runners-up in Group H.
“It’s a great question, because we’ve thought about it too,” Luis Enrique stated in a information convention on Wednesday, when requested if ending second within the group is likely to be higher for his aspect.
“But imagine we want to finish second, we get to the 90th minute and it’s 0-0 in the two games, and in the 95th minute with 15 seconds left, Japan and Costa Rica both score. You gambled, and you’re out.
“Or think about Germany are 5-0 up, we’re on the lookout for a draw, and Japan rating and we’re out. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve got an excellent crew and also you wish to play seven video games [to get to the final], it is not about ending second. We wish to end first. If we play Brazil within the quarterfinals, nice, we’ll play Brazil. However we cannot rely our chickens earlier than they’ve hatched.”
Spain’s 7-0 win over Costa Rica — the country’s biggest ever at a World Cup — forced them into the conversation about candidates to lift the World Cup in Qatar, before they were held to a 1-1 draw by Germany.
Five-time World Cup winners Brazil have obtained maximum points so far, beating Serbia 2-0 in their Group G opener thanks to a second-half brace from Richarlison, before Casemiro’s late strike gave them a 1-0 win over Switzerland.
“Brazil are a world energy, a transparent favorite in any World Cup, in any yr,” Luis Enrique added.
“Brazil will all the time be among the many favourites, they’ve a whole lot of particular person and collective high quality. Past that, there are not any surprises. I have a look at the FIFA rankings and nearly all of the favourites are within the high ten. France and Brazil have each gained comfortably, they’re high groups.”