Germany will kick off their World Cup campaign in Group E against Japan as the four-time world champions look to improve on the disastrous campaign in 2018 back in Russia.
The Germans are heading into this one four years on from finishing bottom of their group in what was their worst-ever performance at a World Cup. They lost to Mexico 1-0, beat Sweden, but lost to South Korea. Japan, on the other hand, had a fantastic group stage campaign, beating Group H winners, Colombia, while also drawing with Senegal and losing to Poland and Japan were eventually knocked out by Belgium to a winner in the dying seconds from Romelu Lukaku.
Japan have had a topsy-turvy 2022 as well, with them winning the EAFF East Asian Cup by beating South Korea 3-0 in what was arguably their best result in the past few years. On the other hand, a 2-0 victory over USA and a 0-0 draw with Ecuador was met with a recent loss to Canada just over a week ago in a warmup game.
Germany managed to beat Oman by just a narrow 1-0 scoreline in a game a week ago to prepare for this one. Of course, the Germans were expected to win by a greater margin, and in finishing third in their Nations League group this year, they managed to only beat Italy 5-2 from all six outings.
Germany are far from what they once were, but they should get the job done here.