There are two of Europe’s best teams in Group E of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, but the primary draw is the potential surprise squad. Without a shadow of a doubt, the leaders and favourites of the group are the Germans and the Spanish.
The two European nations have 36 appearances and five titles. They’ll be playing in Group Play with Costa Rica (who won the final qualifying spot) and Japan (who are literally gambling with the church’s money).
Spain and Germany should be able to move to the next round of play from this group, but doing so won’t be simple.
Group Stage: Group E Complete Match Schedule
Two teams stand out as heavy favourites in Group E for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But predictions for the group’s final rankings don’t usually pan out.
There are only two places in the knockout stages from each group, and European powers Spain and Germany appeared prepared to grab them in Group E, at least according to history. But that pedigree meant little on the first matchday as Germany succumbed to Japan 2-1.
Thanks to the victory, Japan had an excellent opportunity to advance out of the group with a match against the weakest team, Costa Rica. It remained on its schedule. Los Ticos defeated 7-0 against Spain in their opener.
Meanwhile, on the second matchday, Germany faces Spain in a moment of desperation. For many, it’s the single most enticing encounter of the group stage at Al Bayt Stadium. A defeat against Spain combined with a Japan win over Costa Rica would guarantee group-stage elimination for the Germans.
|Wed, Nov. 23||Germany vs Japan||08:00 A.M.||Khalifa International Stadium|
|Wed, Nov. 23||Spain vs Costa Rica||11:00 A.M.||Al Thumama Stadium|
|Sun, Nov. 27||Japan vs Costa Rica||05:00 A.M.||Ahmad Bin Ali|
|Sun, Nov. 27||Spain vs Germany||02:00 P.M.||Al Bayt|
|Thurs, Dec. 1||Japan vs Spain||02:00 P.M.||Khalifa Int’l|
|Thurs, Dec. 1||Costa Rica vs Germany||02:00 P.M.||Al Bayt|
Germany Team Brief Overview
Germany hopes to win their fifth World Cup and moves into a tie for first place with Brazil. Germany has won 9 of their last 10 World Cup qualifying games as a team.
They didn’t have to worry about qualifying for the World Cup, but their performance in Euro 2020 wasn’t awe-inspiring.
This squad is now through a reconstruction period as they move away from the historically brutal German style of soccer that has been the norm for decades.
- FIFA Ranking: 11
- Odds of Winning: Semi-favorites
- One Player to Watch: Germany’s core group of players is led by 19-year-old Jamal Musiala in his World Cup debut.
Japan Team Brief Overview
Regarding group play, Japan is sure to be a highlight. Experts in the soccer world started taking Samurai Blue seriously after their 2-0 friendly triumph over the U.S. Men’s National Team. Japan may shake things up in this group and perhaps grab a tie from one of the top teams.
- FIFA Ranking: 24
- Odds of Winning: A true sleeper
- One Player to Watch: Daichi Kamada stands out as the main attraction in Samurai Blue.
Spain Team Brief Overview
The group’s preference is La Roja, but much like in Germany, we see a political shift in the country.
Manager Luis Enrique has put up a strong team for the World Cup, with a mix of experienced players and promising young players like Pedri at the forefront.
Some have worried that Spain’s lack of a clear closer might hurt them against Costa Rica’s defensive approach.
- FIFA Ranking: 7
- Odds of Winning: The Favorites
- One Player to Watch: Ferran Torres, a colleague of Gavi and Pedri’s at Barcelona, may be the closer Spain desperately needs.
Costa Rica Team Brief Overview
Costa Rica relies heavily on defence, which will be crucial if they want to advance out of a group full of great attackers. They’ll probably line up in a 4-4-2 defensive configuration. The team’s lone hope for success is Keylor Nevas, Costa Rica’s great goalkeeper. They’ll have difficulty finding success since they take a defensive approach to the game.
- FIFA Ranking: 31
- Odds of Winning: Slim to none
- One Player to Watch: Nevas is the main attraction, but we should test Joel Campbell’s ability to score goals despite having few chances.