Spain and Germany are the favorites to go forward

Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup includes Germany, Spain, Japan and Costa Rica, with the group stage being played from November 20 to December 2.

Germany

After a disappointing campaign at the 2018 World Cup, Germany are looking to bounce back in the FIFA mega event under manager Hansi Flick. The Germans are desperate to secure another coveted trophy in their cabinet. Considering their recent performances at Euro 2022 and the UEFA Nations League, Germany haven’t been able to play to their full potential. However, they have entered their transition phase after Joachim Low’s 15-year reign. Flick instills a ruthless approach to the German team he developed at Bayern Munich during his tenure.

Flick has had the freedom to have players like Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich, whom he worked with earlier at Bayern. The 57-year-old is known for his consistency in the selection of the same team.

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Germany lacked a world-class striker in the roster and Timo Werner is also out of the World Cup with an ankle injury. However, despite the absence of a top striker and overseeing a reconstruction project in charge of Germany, Flick lost just one of his 15 matches in charge.

Guardians: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Antonio Ruediger (Real Madrid), Niklas Suele (Borussia Dortmund), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann, Armel Bella Kotchap ( Southampton), Christian Guenter (Freiburg).

Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Mueller (all from Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Goetze (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Spain

Luis Enrique made massive changes to the side and embraced the nuances of tiki-taka football to rebuild a new team. The post-Xavi-Iniesta era was always going to be difficult for Spain, but in Euros last year they found a new wonderkid in Pedri who ran the show all on his own. He was named the Young Player of the Tournament as he finished the tournament with an extraordinary success rate of 421/461.

Enrique is trying to emulate the success of Vicente del Bosque but he doesn’t have stars like the Spanish side of 2010 where they had Xavi and Iniesta to control the midfield, Sergio Ramos, Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique to hold the line. defense, David Villa and Fernando Torres to put the ball in front of the net and a wall in the form of Iker Casillas to save the goal. The Spanish manager hasn’t been shy about making the tough calls as he hasn’t chosen Sergio Ramos, David de Gea and Thiago Alcantara in the squad.

The new-age Spanish side lacks such stars, but they have the quality to light up Qatar with their attractive possession-based football which caught the eye at Euro 2020 and UEFA Nations League 2020- 21.

Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Club), Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion), David Raya (Brentford FC).

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona), Hugo Guillamon (Valencia CF), Pau Torres (Villarreal CF), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia CF).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona), Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain), Marcos Llorente (Atlético de Madrid), Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona), Koke Resurreccion (Atlético de Madrid ).

Attackers: Ferran Torres (FC Barcelona), Nico Williams (Athletic Club), Yeremi Pino (Villarreal CF), Alvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig) ), Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona).

Japan

The Asian team found themselves in probably the most difficult group of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They finished second to Saudi Arabia in Group B in the third round of Asian qualifying. Japan managed to qualify for the round of 16 in the last edition of the mega tournament, but this time it will not be easy for them to get there with European mega giants like Germany and Spain already in their team. Manager Hajime Moriyasu has been an inspirational figure for the Japanese team. He took Japan to the Asian Cup final six months after his appointment. Also served as Japan’s Olympic director at the Tokyo Games and took the team to the semi-finals, but missed out on a medal.

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Wataru Endo is the mouthguard-wearing midfield kingpin that keeps Japan together. A non-playing member of the squad in 2018, Endo won the AFC Champions League with Urawa Red Diamonds before moving to Europe.

Guardians: Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg), Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Daniel Schmidt (Saint-Trond).

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Tokyo), Maya Yoshida (Schalke 04), Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Red Diamonds), Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale), Miki Yamane (Kawasaki Frontale), Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart).

Midfielders: Gaku Shibasaki (Leganes), Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Junya Ito (Reims), Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting CP), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt), Yuki Soma (Nagoya Grampus), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ritsu Doan (Fribourg), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad).

Forwards: Takuma Asano (Bochum), Daizen Maeda (Celtic), Ayase Ueda (Cercle Brugge), Shuto Machino (Shonan Bellmare).

Costa Rica

The 31st-ranked team qualified for the Qatar World Cup after New Zealand won 1-0 in a CONCACAF-Oceania playoff match. They qualified for the playoffs after finishing fourth in the CONCACAF qualifiers behind Canada, Mexico and the United States. Luis Fernando Suarez is best known for leading Ecuador to their best showing at a World Cup, when they reached the last 16 in the 2006 final only to be knocked out by England after a free-kick from David Beckham in a 1-0 loss. The manager will be looking to emulate something special with the Costa Rican side in Qatar this year.

Keylor Navas is an inspirational figure in the team as he won everything in club football during his time at Real Madrid. The goalkeeper still had the reflexes to stop the best shots.

Guardians: Keylor Navas (Paris St Germain), Esteban Alvarado (Herediano), Patrick Sequeira (CD Lugo).

Defenders: Francisco Calvo (Konyaspor), Juan Pablo Vargas (Millonarios FC), Kendall Waston (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Al-Wehda), Daniel Chacon (Colorado Rapids), Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Carlos Martinez (San Carlos), Bryan Oviedo (Real Salt Lake), Ronald Matarrita (Cincinnati).

Midfielders: Yeltsine Tejeda (Herediano), Celso Borges (Alajuelense), Youstin Salas (Saprissa), Roan Wilson (Greece), Gerson Torres (Herediano), Douglas Lopez (Herediano) Jewisson Bennette (Sunderland), Alvaro Zamora (Saprissa), Anthony Hernandez (Puntarenas FC), Brandon Aguilera (Nottingham Forest), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense).

Attackers: Joel Campbell (Leon), Anthony Contreras (Herediano) Johan Venegas (Alajuelense).

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