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Germany vs Japan, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Doha, Khalifa International Stadium

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Germany open World Cup campaign against Japan looking to prove champion’s credentials

  • Germany enter the World Cup as one of the favourites, having won on four occasions
  • They were surprisingly knocked out in the Group Stage in 2018
  • Japan are competing at their seventh consecutive World Cup but will find it hard to qualify here

Germany to win 2-1

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Doha, Khalifa International Stadium

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Group E is the so-called ‘group of death’ at this year’s World Cup, due to the nature of the nations it contains.

With both Germany and Spain placed in this group, you would suspect that it leaves little hope for the likes of Japan and Costa Rica to make it through to the knockout phase.

Germany are, of course, four-time champions, last lifting the trophy in 2014. The most recent tournament, in 2018, saw them exit the World Cup at the first hurdle for the first time since 1938.

This is the first tournament in 15 years that Germany will have a new manager, with Joachim Low being replaced by Hansi Flick. 

Japan are serial participants at the World Cup in recent times, having qualified for every tournament since 1998.

You would expect that the odds are against them, both in this game and in the group, but stranger things have happened.

Germany Preview

FIFA Ranking: 11

Predicted Finish: Quarter Finals

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Have refreshed the squad well since the last World Cup

     Alongside Denmark, claimed the most points in European qualifying

Reasons to be fearful:

     Poor results have continued since Euro 2020

     The country’s golden age of players is ending

As happens to all great teams, the generation of German players that lifted the World Cup in 2014 has nearly come to an end.

Toni Kroos retired last year, while this will likely be the final tournament for seasoned campaigners Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze.

In their place come talented youngsters, but question marks remain about whether they have the same elite quality as their predecessors. 

Sane, Gnabry, Havertz, Brandt, Bella-Kotchap. The list goes on and on of young players brimming with potential. 

Their first challenge will be to overcome an energetic Japan outfit that won’t settle for being written off just yet.

Star Man – Jamal Musiala

The 19-year-old has been turning heads recently. He has become a regular in Bayern Munich’s starting XI and it appears he has the world at his feet. Can he ignite Germany’s tournament hopes?

Japan Preview

FIFA Ranking: 24

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful

     Experienced at international tournaments

     Won 15 of their 18 games in qualifying

Reasons to be fearful

     Unlikely to progress with Germany and Spain in their group

     Just 12 goals from their final 10 qualifying games

There is a quiet confidence building in Japan that their team has what it takes to reach the knockout stage for the second tournament in a row.

For that to happen, there would need to be a shock result against either Germany or Spain. Neither of those teams are as strong as they have been in the past, so it’s not as unthinkable as might have once been the case.

The Blue Samarai had a strong record in qualifying, although the competition is never particularly high in that part of the world.

Many of their squad play for European teams, meaning that they have experience at the top level. Where they come short is in their goalscoring. They don’t have a recognisable talisman upfront since Keisuke Honda retired.

Star Man – Takumi Minamino

His time at Liverpool was not as successful as he would have hoped, but there is no doubting his quality. He has 17 goals in his 44 games for Japan.

     Germany’s frontline will cause Japan issues

     Japan’s smooth passing will create chances

     Could be a close finish

Germany have the star players here, but Japan will back themselves to cause teams problems with their silky passing skills and high intensity.

The Germans often take their time to build into a tournament and we could see a conservative start from them here.

In the end, however, their famous ruthlessness should win through.

Germany to win 2-1

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Author: Ross B.