Germany and Spain have both been drawn in Group E although the pair won’t clash until the second match of the group stage and are likely to have three points under their belt by that stage. Hansi Flick is attempting to restore some national pride with Die Mannschaft after poor showings at the 2018 World Cup and the rearranged Euro 2020.

The Germans went out at the group stage in Russia and that was practically unheard of for a nation who had made it to the quarter final stage of the competition on the previous nine occasions. There will be a fierce determination to record an opening win over Japan and the World Cup betting sites make them strong favourites.

Some would argue that the team were given a favourable World Cup qualifying group featuring the likes of Romania, North Macedonia and Armenia, although Flick has previously enjoyed success with Bayern Munich including a Champions League win and they recently claimed a 1-1 draw at Netherlands in a friendly to suggest they’re on the right track.

Captain Manuel Neuer might be appearing at his final World Cup in a Germany shirt, with Antonio Rudiger as good a central defender as you could hope to have in the ranks. There are plenty of younger players now coming through to represent the new guard, with Kai Havertz having looked impressive for his country and the same applies to teenager Jamal Musiala.

However, there will be some pressure to get the right result against a Japan side who will feel somewhat unfortunate that they are clashing with Germany and Spain at the group stage. The Blue Samurai have plenty of experience in their ranks and that includes Maya Yoshida who will lead out the team and has over 100 caps.

The same applies to Yuto Nagatomo, while Strasbourg keeper Eiji Kawashima also merits respect and this is one of the leading football nations in Asia. However, the team were relatively modest performers when it came to World Cup qualification, with Oman actually landing a win in Suita.


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