2022 World Cup Preview: Germany vs Japan

Germany will kick-start their World Cup campaign with a match against Japan at The Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan at 13:00 GMT.

The 2014 champions have had the worst of outcomes in major tournaments after many years of dominating. As defending champions, Die Mannschaft bowed out of the group stage in Russia in 2018 before losing to rivals England in the round of 16 at the 2020 European championship. Hansi Flick who once deputised Joachim Low is now at the helm of affairs with the aim of leading Germany to their first quarter-finals in an international tournament after 2017.

Japan would cherish a last-eight finish after failing to go beyond the Round of 16 in 2002, 2010 and 2018.

FORM GUIDE (LAST FIVE MATCHES)

Germany have won and drawn two games each in their last five matches. Japan have also recorded similar results in their last five matches with their only defeat coming against Canada last Thursday.

GERMANY

16 November 2022    Oman           0–1     Germany       Friendly

26 September 2022   England        3–3     Germany         UEFA Nations League

23 September 2022   Germany       0–1     Hungary          UEFA Nations League

11 June 2022               Hungary     1–1   Germany           UEFA Nations League

14 June 2022              Germany     5–2    Italy                   UEFA Nations League

 

JAPAN

17 November               Canada          2–1       Japan                  International Friendly

27 September 2022      Japan             0–0     Ecuador               Kirin Challenge Cup

23 September 2022     Japan             2–0     United States       Kirin Challenge Cup

27 July 2022                Japan              3–0      South Korea      EAFF E-1 Football Championship

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24 July 2022                Japan              0–0     China                 EAFF E-1 Football Championship

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have locked horns twice. Germany won the first and the second ended in a stalemate.

16 Dec 2004       Japan            0-3     Germany                      International Friendly

30 May 2006      Germany      2-2     Japan                            International Friendly

TEAM NEWS

GERMANY

Veteran striker Thomas Müller is still available with the likes of Kai Havertz and Mario Gotze poised to retrieve long-yearned consistent Germany.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

(4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kehrer, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Musiala, Sane; Müller.

JAPAN

Takehiro Tomiyasu could have been the major worry for Japan but the Arsenal defender is expected to be ready for their opening game.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

(4-2-3-1): Gonda; Nagatomo, Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Sakai; Shibasaki, Morita; Kubo, Kamada, Ito; Minamino