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World Cup 2022 Group E: Schedule & Preview – Germany, Costa Rica, Spain & Japan

Qatar World Cup Group E features two elite European sides Germany and Spain, plus Costa Rica and Japan.

Let’s take a quick look at the dates and times these four teams will play each other, their chances of advancing into the knockout stage as well as details on their squads, records and the all-important group table.

World Cup Group E Fixtures & Schedule

Wednesday, November 23 (13:00) – Germany vs Japan
Wednesday, November 23 (16:00) – Spain vs Costa Rica
Sunday, November 27 (10:00) – Japan vs Costa Rica
Sunday, November 27 (19:00) – Spain vs Germany
Thursday, December 1 (19:00) – Japan vs Spain
Thursday, December 1 (19:00) – Costa Rica vs Germany

World Cup Group E: Teams & Preview

Spain and Germany have won two European Championships and two World Cups since 2008 between them. While since 2002, only two major tournaments in which both nations took part did not feature at least one of them in the last four.

Costa Rica and Japan will try to put the spanner in the works, but it’s hard to see the two European powerhouses not progressing into the knockout stage.

Germany – Can Bayern Munich win World Cup?

Manager: Hansi Flick

Star Player: Leroy Sane

Germany clocked up 27 of the 30 available points in their qualifying group (W9, L1) to maintain their 100% success ratio in World Cup qualifiers, but they have since hit a rough patch.

Since taking charge of Die Mannschaft in September 2021, former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has only lost once in his 16 internationals with Germany (W10, D5).

However, the Germans experienced an ill-fated 2022/23 Nations League campaign in Group A/3, finishing third, behind the likes of Italy and Hungary.

Following an embarrassing Euro 2020 journey last summer, the four-time world champions will have a point to prove in Qatar, especially after being bounced out of the group stages in Russia four years ago. 

Leroy Sane will headline Germany’s frontline alongside his club teammates Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller as Flick looks likely to put his trust in the hands of his former Bayern players. 

Indeed, almost 90% of Die Mannschaft’s starting XI wears the red of Bayern.

Spain – New-looking ‘Furia’

Manager: Luis Enrique

Star Player: Pedri 

Since Spain’s ‘Golden Generation’ lifted the World Cup title in South Africa 12 years ago, it’s all been doom and gloom for La Furia Roja at major international tournaments. 

After suffering a group stage elimination as reigning champions in Brazil, the Iberian heavyweights could only do one better in Russia in 2018, while their performances at Euro 2020 also failed to impress.

Last summer’s semi-final exit was a signal for head coach Luis Enrique to ring drastic changes within the squad, which will see Spain travel to Qatar without several senior first-team stars.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Paris Saint-Germain defender Sergio Ramos were omitted from Enrique’s list of travellers, with Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara also out of the team.

It seems that the former Barcelona boss wants to build a new generation around the Spotify Camp Nou prodigies, Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi, all of which are expected to play prominent roles in Qatar.

Costa Rica – Chaos component

Manager: Luis Fernando Suarez

Star Player: Keylor Navas

Costa Rica’s third consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals for the first time in the country’s history is already a standout achievement for the North American minnows.

But despite starting the competition as outsiders, others would be silly to write them out, based on Los Ticos’ memorable run to win their group at the 2014 World Cup next to Italy and England.

Costa Rica could only manage one point in Russia, but their defensive set-up and PSG’s Keylor Navas in goal could make life difficult for Europe’s big guns in this section. 

Since Navas is the team’s star performer, it’s no wonder Luis Fernando Suarez’s men are given long odds to pull off another upset, with only two of their outfield players plying their trade in Europe. 

After going toe-to-toe with the United States and Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying group, the Costa Ricans have earned the benefit of the doubt. 

Japan – Samurai looking to slay favourites

Manager: Hajime Moriyasu

Star Player: Takumi Minamino

As one of the permanent fixtures at the World Cup showpiece over the past two decades, Japan embark on a seventh successive final tournament. 

Interestingly, the Asian giants have alternated between group-stage eliminations and last-16 failures across their last six World Cup appearances, ending their 2018 campaign in the first knockout round.

Unlike some previous editions, Japan can rely on numerous high-performing European stars this winter, with Monaco’s Takumi Minamino and Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo emerging as leading characters.

Though all of Japan’s star forwards play in Europe, this team’s main strength has been a water-tight defence that’s conceded just four goals in ten final-round qualifiers leading to Qatar.

Manager Hajime Moriyasu has been at the helm since 2018, so he has had enough time to learn his side’s strengths and weaknesses and prepare the tactics to get the best out of his men. 

World Cup 2022 Links

World Cup 2022 Main Page
World Cup 2022 Squads
World Cup 2022 Stats & Group Tables
World Cup TV Schedule
World Cup Live Streaming

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