World Cup 2022 Team Guides, Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

The two World Cup winners – Spain and Germany – are clear favorites to advance, and their meeting on Nov. 27 is the marquee match of the first round. Stingy Japan has a strong team and it is likely that the other two teams will upset the creative process if one of the heroes goes down. As for aging Costa Rica, surviving the first round will be a long process.

SPAIN

Teacher: Luis Enrique

Top finishes: The Champions (2010)

2018 finish: Round 16

FOX Bet is not eligible: +800

Major Players: Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Álvaro Morata

What we enjoy watching: Spain have finally passed their golden age of all-conquering; Busquets, the captain, is the only player left from the team that won the 2010 World Cup. La Roja retooled Enrique is now ready for their season.

What success looks like: While they may win it all, they may be the four-year title favorites. That said, 15 minutes is the minimum.

Achilles heel: History. Because of all their skills and experience, Spain has weighed under their weight in the World Cup, except for 2010. They have never gone past the eleventh round of the eleven other competitions.

Reason X: Gavi. The 18-year-old has been a regular for La Roja since making his debut last season and could be a breakout star on the big stage.

Three things you should know about Spain

Three things you should know about Spain

Alexi Lalas gives us three things we need to know about Spain ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

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COSTA RICA

Teacher: Luis Fernando Suarez

Top finishes: The Fourth Round (2014)

2018 finish: Round 16

FOX Bet is not eligible: + 75000

Major Players: Celso Borges, Joel Campbell, Keylor Navas

What we enjoy watching: If Costa Rica will continue against the odds, they will almost certainly win their second match in Qatar, against Japan on Nov. 27.

What success looks like: Getting out of a group this tough would be a win.

Achilles heel: Age There is no long period in which the king of Ticos exists. Borges is 34. Navas is 35. Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rica’s all-time leading scorer, is 37. Even Campbell is now on the wrong side of 30.

Reason X: Navas. The three-time UEFA Champions League winner has not played a single minute for Paris Saint-Germain this season after stepping down from his starting role. That means that the best player in Costa Rican history – he single-handedly led the Ticos to the quarterfinals in 2014 – has something to prove in Qatar.

Three things you should know about Costa Rica

Three things you should know about Costa Rica

Alexi Lalas gives us three things we need to know about Costa Rica.

GERMANY

Teacher: Hansi Flick

Top finishes: Champions (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)

2018 finish: Stage one

FOX Bet is not eligible: +1000

Major Players: Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Müller, Antonio Rüdiger

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What we enjoy watching: Apart from the surprise win in Hungary, Germany have been impressive since Flick replaced long-time manager Jogi Loew last year. However, this is the World Cup. This competition in Spain will tell us where they really stand.

What success looks like: Germany goes into every major tournament knowing it can win. Just as making a deep run would be enough after the shock of their team’s exit four years ago (and in the round of 16 losing to England in last year’s Euro qualifiers), Die Mannschaft will still be disappointed if they don’t say. fifth world title.

Achilles heel: The composition of the scroll. This is a team built to win the 2024 Euro at home; The 2022 edition is caught between two generations, with 30-somethings Muller, Manuel Neuer and Ilkay Gundogan on one side and youngsters Youssoufa Moukoko and Jamal Musiala on the other.

Reason X: Moukoko. Just 17, the uncapped striker has scored 11 goals in 44 Bundesliga appearances. After making the squad in place of injured veteran Marco Reus, he will be among the youngest players in World Cup history if he takes the field.

Three things you should know about Germany

Three things you should know about Germany

Alexi Lalas gives us three things we need to know about Germany.

JAPAN

Teacher: Hajime Moriyasu

Top finishes: Round of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018)

2018 finish: Round 16

FOX Bet is not eligible: +25000

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Major Players: Daichi Kamada, Takumi Minamino, Takehiro Tomiyasu

What we enjoy watching: Japan likes odd jobs and always wants the expected. In 2018, they survived a group with Colombia, Poland and Senegal and gave Belgium all they could in the second round. Don’t be surprised if they upset one of their European rivals.

What success looks like: Making it to the first round of consecutive World Cups would be unprecedented for the Blue Samurai. Winning the first round would be better.

Achilles heel: Marking. The front four on Japan’s 26-man roster have just 10 international goals between them.

Reason X: Security. With a back line led by Arsenal center back Tomiyasu and captain Maya Yoshida, Japan are well-disciplined and well-organized, making them very difficult for opponents to break down. A team that doesn’t score and they can’t win – not even Germany or Spain.

Three things you should know about Japan

Three things you should know about Japan

Alexi Lalas gives us three things we need to know about Japan.

Other team reviews: GROUP A | GROUP B | GROUP C | GROUP D | Group F

Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and covered the United States and women’s national teams and several FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By DougMcIntyre.


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