- Germany v Japan
- Monday, November 23, 2022, 08:00 ET
- At the Khalifa International Stadium, Al-Rayyan
Germany have vulnerabilities but they are the pick to win their opening game against Japan
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks the 2014 World Cup winners Germany are big favorites with bettors to claim victory over Japan in their opening World Cup game. Germany are rated at around -200 to win the match, with Japan the clear underdogs at +500 and the draw priced at between +340 and +365.
|Germany v Japan|
World Cup Group E Betting Briefing
Every World Cup tournament features at least one Group that looks tougher than the rest on paper, and in 2022, the leading candidate for the ‘Group of Death’ title is Group E.
This section features the four-time World Cup winners Germany, who most recently won the tournament in 2014, along with the 2010 winners Spain, second-highest ranked Asian team Japan, and Costa Rica, who are playing in their fifth World Cup since 1990 and who reached the quarter-finals in 2014. And as if that wasn’t tough enough, the two teams that qualify from Group E will face the top two from Group F which is likely to be the highly rated Belgium and 2018 finalists Croatia.
If Germany flop, as they did in 2018, then the Group takes on a different complexion, but this remains a tricky section to navigate and getting an early win could be crucial.
Flawed Germany Hoping for Improvement
After their disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign and the scarcely improved effort at Euro 2020, it was clear that the German national team needed a new direction, and under Hansi Flick, things have been going in the right direction. They qualified for the tournament in style, winning nine of their ten games and conceding only two goals in those nine wins.
Their style is a relentlessly attacking one. The German team presses higher and for longer than any other top team in the world, and they rely on essentially smothering opponents, while their defenders have to use strong positional sense and awareness to maintain the offside trap. Creative playmakers like Ilkay Gundogan, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry are often seen at their best in this style of play and the result is that opposing teams often struggle to get out of their own half. Germany averaged 3.6 goals per game during the qualifying rounds.
This is, however, a flawed German team that needs further improvement. Flick’s style of play is occasionally vulnerable to good teams who are able to beat the press with direct passing and speedy forwards. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of defenders with the skills to play his system, and the feeling is that sooner or later in a tournament like this, they will come unstuck.
Japan Lack Forward Depth
Japan qualified through Round Two of the AFC competition scoring more goals than any other team, and although they initially stumbled in the crucial Round Three, they eventually reached the World Cup – their seventh consecutive tournament – thanks to some strong performances including a win over Australia.
Japan’s style of play is based on solid technical ability and relentless energy, with plenty of pace down the wings, and the fact that three of the last six Japanese squads have reached the knockout stages at the World Cup suggests that this football nation can produce the talent to compete against the very best teams in the world.
That said, this is a tough Group and even allowing for the difficulty of the opponents, the controversial selection by manager Hajime Moriyasu has left them lacking in forward depth. Both Kyogo Furuhashi and Yuya Osaka were left out while top scorer Takumi Minamino is out of form. There will be increased pressure on the midfield to get their share of goals to help out the weakened front line.
World Cup Group E Match Betting
Neither of the two strongest teams in this Group are unbeatable, but of the two big guns in World Cup Group E, the Germans are the most vulnerable. While their creativity and playmaking ability is unquestioned, defensively they are not as strong as Hansi Flick would like them to be. Their aggressive pressing style leaves them potentially open to teams with the skill to exploit the opportunity.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Japan are the team to take advantage of the German weakness. Their attack looks less potent than it needs to be and their energetic style may not be well suited to the heat in Qatar. There are plenty of goals in the German team and I think they will at least start their campaign with a win.