- Spain and Germany are the favorites to advance.
- Germany’s well-drilled style could beat Spain’s creative flair.
- Japan could provide a few upsets.
Group E in the 2022 FIFA World Cup consists of Spain, Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan. It’s an interesting group consisting of 2010 semi-finalists in Spain and Germany, as well as the inclusion of a team that is more than capable of springing a surprise or two.
Of course, according to World Cup betting and soccer odds, European heavyweights Germany and Spain are the favorites to advance.
The biggest question is which of those two teams will claim the top spot.
World Cup Group E: Odds and Predictions
Odds to Win Group E
Costa Rica: +4000
Odds to Advance from Group E
Costa Rica: +1400
Group D World Cup Schedule
|Japan vs. Germany||November 23|
|Spain vs. Costa Rica||November 23|
|Japan vs. Costa Rica||November 27|
|Germany vs. Spain||November 27|
|Japan vs. Spain||December 1|
|Costa Rica vs. Germany||December 1|
Germany Out For Redemption
Group stage exit.— DW Sports (@dw_sports) June 27, 2018
For Germany, #WorldCup holders.
This is real. #KORGER pic.twitter.com/iotmYxnQWi
Germany’s match against South Korea in the 2018 World Cup is a memory fans will want to erase. They lost 2-0 to crash out of the tournament in a year they were expected to push for back-to-back titles.
The early exit in Euro 2020 was the last game for Joachim Low, who had been at the helm for 15 years. His replacement, Hansi Flick, was a serial winner when he managed Bayern Munich, and he is yet to taste defeat with his team during his year in charge.
Germany will be desperate for redemption after the group stage exit in 2018, and Flick looks like a manager that can provide just that. The team has some of the strongest European players in the world, with Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, and Serge Gnabry providing a promising mix of experience and youth.
This well-drilled team likes to press their opponents and force errors. I certainly can see Germany giving Spain a run for its money and expect them to redeem themselves by clinching the top spot.
Spain’s Transitional Period Continues
There was no stopping the Spanish soccer team from 2008-12, with La Furia Roja winning the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships. It’s not been smooth sailing since then, and an aging team has been the biggest problem.
The team has improved dramatically since the appointment of Luiz Enrique as manager. A controversial figure in Spain, Enrique isn’t afraid to drop big-name players if they aren’t performing.
This tactic has paved the way for incredible young talents like Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Gavi to become central to La Furia Roja’s rediscovered creative flair.
They are balanced out by experienced players like Alvaro Morata, Jordi Alba, and Aymeric Laporte.
Spain is a team on the up and it’s going to be hugely entertaining to see who comes out on top between the German’s well-drilled precision and Spain’s creative, playful style.
Japan is Capable of an Upset
21 days till the WorldCup 🎉— World Cup Stats: 🏆 (@WorldCupStatsGo) October 30, 2022
21 matches have been played by Japan 🇯🇵 at the WorldCup.
They first qualified in 1998, and have been present ever since!
Keisuke Honda scored in 2010, 2014 and 2018.
This year goals should come from #Minamino , #Maeda and #Furuhashi pic.twitter.com/H2jNGAy5F3
Japan tends to follow a pattern of being knocked out in the Round of 16 one World Cup and then failing to advance from the Group Stage in the next.
In fact, this has been repeated three times and with them making through the Group Stages in 2018, it looks like they won’t this year.
That being said, Japan has the strongest team that it has ever had. Monaco’s Takumi Minamino, Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, Celtic’s Daizen Maeda, and Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma are all household names and will play a key role in Japan’s success.
Japan is undoubtedly capable of an upset in this group, and I can see them taking points off one of the favorites.
Unfortunately for the Samurai Blues, they can’t quite compete with Spain or Germany, and while they might provide a few scares, they’ll ultimately leave the tournament at this stage.
Costa Rica Has Tough Draw
This is a nightmare scenario for Costa Rica, where there will be no easy games for Los Ticos. Their key players are Bryan Ruiz and Keylor Navas, who are 37 and 35 years old, respectively.
Costa Rica had to work hard to qualify for the World Cup, getting dumped out of CONCACAF qualifying into the inter-confederation playoffs where they played New Zealand. A Joel Campbell goal in the third minute was enough to see them through, but there was a disallowed goal, New Zealand was down to 10 men, and Navas saved the day numerous times.
Perhaps Costa Rica would have done slightly better in a weaker group, but I just don’t see them having any success in this one.
Group E Predictions
Germany plays Japan in the opening game of the group, and I can’t help but feel if they stumble here they will only finish in second place. However, if they beat Japan they will advance from the Group Stage in the top spot.
Spain is over-reliant on their three young stars, and as we’ve seen at Barcelona, this isn’t a formula for success. This is a brilliant team, but one that I think will be better served in a couple of years. I think they will finish second.
Japan will take the third spot here, and while they won’t advance to the next round, I do expect them to take points from either Spain or Germany.
Costa Rica will finish at the bottom of the group and are unlikely to go home with any points.
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