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Germany vs Japan Preview – team news, head-to-head record & how to watch

Germany’s bid to redeem themselves for an underwhelming 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia begins at the Khalifa International Stadium against Japan.

The curse of reigning champions hunted down the Germans in 2018, as only four years since lifting the crown in Brazil, they failed to make it out of the group stages. 

Jurgen Low, the man who inspired Germany to the title in 2014, is a matter of history as former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick holds the managerial reins now.

Die Mannschaft head into proceedings on the back of a near-perfect qualifying campaign during which they racked up a better points tally (27) from their ten games than any other European nation.

Despite lacking several key components from the previous tournaments, including Real Madrid stalwart Toni Kroos, the Germans have the highest ambitions and will be expecting to top Group E.

However, like their rivals, Japan found their Asian qualifying cycle a stroll as they brace themselves for a seventh successive appearance at the World Cup finals. 

Hajime Moriyasu’s men eased past Australia to automatically secure their place in Qatar, having conceded a mere six goals across 18 qualifiers.

With most of their first-team stars currently plying their trade in Europe’s top-five leagues, the Asian heavyweights come into the tournament hopeful of pulling off an upset in Group E, featuring Spain and Costa Rica.


A superior fair-play record over Senegal fired the Samurai Blue into the 2018 knockout phase, although it’s worth noting the Japanese have never progressed from the World Cup group stage twice in a row.

Match Preview

Germany

Except for a shock group stage exit in Russia, Germany have at least qualified for the semi-finals in their four remaining World Cup appearances in the new millennium. 

Die Mannschaft have never failed to disappoint the neutrals in that period, with none of their last 50 World Cup outings ending goalless en route to setting an unprecedented feat in the competition’s history.

But it’s not all rosy for Germany, especially in 2022. Following a sub-par 2022/23 UEFA Nations League campaign (W1, D4, L1), they could only manage a 1-0 win over Asian minnows Oman in their ultimate warm-up clash.

Japan

Japan have gone winless in both previous international meetings with Germany (D1, L1), with all seven goals (scored/conceded) in that sequence coming beyond half-time.

Their winless H2H record against the Germans will likely go on, considering the Samurai Blue have picked up just one win in their last eight World Cup matches (D3, L4). 

Yet since that solitary victory was a 2-1 beating of Colombia in the last tournament’s curtain-raiser, Japan will hope to kick things off in Qatar with a bang.

Germany v Japan Head-to-Head

Germany and Japan have faced off four times, with two wins and two draws in Germany’s favour. One win and one draw occurred in the 1960s when Germany was ‘West Germany’, while the most recent meeting – an international friendly in 2006, ended in a 2-2 draw.

Germany vs Japan Potential Line-ups

Germany (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Thilo Kehrer, Niklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger, David Raum; Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan; Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane; Thomas Muller. 

Japan (4-3-3): Shuchi Gonda; Hiroki Sakai, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo; Gaku Shibasaki, Wataru Endo, Daichi Kamada; Junya Ito, Takuma Asano, Takumi Minamino. 

Germany vs Japan Prediction 

Despite Japan’s impressive World Cup qualifying cycle, Germany should live up to their favourites tag and claim three points without breaking a sweat.

Germany 2-0 Japan

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