Group E of the 2022 World Cup looks like a tough section, but you can bet on Spain to win it.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that sportsbooks are banking on Spain and Germany here. Spain are -120 to win Group E, and Germany available at +120, with underdogs Japan and Costa Rica priced at +1000 and +3400 respectively.
|Group E Winner|
Betting on the World Cup Group E Winners
This year the World Cup is being staged in Qatar, which becomes the first-ever Middle-Eastern nation to host the tournament. Although it is being held in November, rather than the fiery heat of the summer, the temperature and humidity will still require a significant adjustment for all of the teams in Group E, though it could be argued that Costa Rica may be the best suited to the conditions.
As in all of the eight Groups that make up the first round of this year’s tournament, there are four teams, with each team scheduled to play once against each of their three opponents. The top two teams in the Group will go through to the knockout stages, and it is worth noting that depending on how the other Groups play out, the advantage of actually winning the Group may not be significant.
Spain is a World Cup Contender
Spain may not be the force that they were between 2008 and 2012, but they have been rebuilding and the depth of talent remains as strong as any other nation in world football. Luis Enrique’s squad is full of young, improving players and they are strong World Cup contenders.
Germany will of course be tough opponents, but while Germany is going through a rebuilding phase of its own, Spain’s transition is much further advanced. They came through their qualifying Group with few problems and have lost only one of their last ten matches – that defeat being a narrow loss to World Cup holders France in the final of the Nations League last year. They may not be as affected by the conditions in Qatar as some of their European rivals and they rate as a solid bet to win this Group.
Tournament Comes Too Soon for Germany
After many years of dominance, German football has been going through a difficult time in recent months, a slump that began with a dreadful performance in the Group stage of the last World Cup in Russia. That was compounded by an early exit from Euro 2020, which led to the appointment of a new head coach in Hansi Flick, who had achieved great things with Bayern Munich.
Since Flick took over, Germany have not lost an international fixture and new players such as the talented attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala have been eased into the set-up alongside veterans such as Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer. It is not a surprise that Flick has concentrated on Bayern players and the international team he has put together looks very similar to the hard-pressing 4-2-3-1 gameplan that took Bayern to the Champions League and Bundesliga double. Still, that style of play can be risky on occasion and it leaves Germany vulnerable. A string of draws in the Nations League also indicates that this German team is not yet in a position to dominate opponents as they once did.
While there is every chance that Germany will return to the summit of world football, it is possible that this tournament will come too soon and they don’t look a good bet for Group E winner.
Japan a Value Bet for Qualification
This will be the seventh World Cup in a row to feature an appearance by Japan and they will have hopes of getting into the knockout stages for the fourth time despite being drawn against Germany and Spain.
They came through the Second Round of the AFC qualifying tournament with an 8-0 win-loss record and an aggregate score of 42-2 although they didn’t face any difficult games. Things were tougher in the Third Round and defeat to Oman and Saudi Arabia in their first three matches left them playing catchup, but a six-game winning streak was enough to secure their qualification, behind Saudi Arabia.
Recent games suggest some inconsistency, but they have the ability to score plenty of goals, thanks to attacking stars Takumi Minamino, Ao Tanaka and Genki Haraguchi. If either Spain or Germany slip up, Japan look the most likely team to take advantage and could be a value bet to qualify.
Toothless Costa Rica Unlikely to Progress
Costa Rica had to do things the hard way to get to the World Cup, eventually finishing fourth in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, although level on points with USMNT. That required them to play in the inter-confederation playoffs and they came through thanks to a 1-0 win over New Zealand.
Their strength is undoubtedly their defense. They conceded only 8 goals in the qualifying tournament, but they struggled at the other end, finding the net only 13 times. While stubborn defense can be a big asset, they are up against three teams who score freely and they are unlikely to progress from Group E.