World Cup Qatar 2022 Preview: Group E

    CountryFIFA RankOdds to win WC
    Costa Rica31+80000
    Germany 11+1000


    La Roja look set to return to the form that saw them lift the trophy in South Africa back in 2010 after a disappointing previous two World Cups. With a host of young talent looking to make their mark on the big stage, the likes of Pedri, Ferran Torres, & Gavi will face a mountain of pressure coming into the tournament as second only to Les Bleus in terms of European favorites. When you combine that with the extensive experience from players like Jordi Alba, Carvajal, Laporte, Koke, & Rodri (and the list goes on…), they’ve certainly got what it takes to make a run deep into the tournament. I would say Group E here is the closest to a coin flip in terms of who will take the advantageous first spot with a huge matchup against Germany likely to be one of the more decisive early matches in the tournament. I think Spain have a slight edge & a deeper squad that could prove the difference maker here.

    Prediction: Winner Group E

    Costa Rica

    Los Tricos fought their way into Qatar after a difficult start to their qualification campaign. Hugely surprising quarter-finalists in Brazil in 2014 & present again in Russia in 2018, Costa Rica’s so-called golden generation looks to be on their last stand & will hope to repeat their success from two tournaments ago. Unfortunately for them they’ve drawn one of the toughest groups, if not the, in the tournament & their chances are grim at best. Led by PSG’s Keylor Navas at the back, most casual fan won’t recognize many other names on the team sheet, but don’t doubt their ability to impress however unlikely it is they’ll escape the group stage. With their opener against Spain, Costa Rica will need to pull off a major upset to find themselves with a chance to make it to the round-of-16 & despite being one of my favorite countries on the planet, I can’t see them repeating their success from 2014.

    Prediction: Eliminated in Group Stage


    Flick’s squad possess the grit & talent of German teams of the past & will be hoping to replicate their success from Brazil in 2014, which saw them thrash the hosts 7-0 before narrowing escaping Argentina to lift the cup. Were it not for being placed with the likes of Spain, I’d fancy Die Mannschaft to finish top spot in their group with ease, but that won’t be the case in Qatar. Spain will be out with a vengeance after their recent dip in tournament form & know their tie with the Germans will be decisive in securing a favorable round-of-16 matchup. With legendary World Cup history on their side both in terms of individual & team performance, led by the seasoned Neuer & backed by extensive experience & talent that could fill a book (Gnabry, Sane, Musiala, Kimmich, Gundogan, Havertz, & more), Germany certainly have everything necessary to repeat their success of the past.

    Prediction: 2nd Place in Group B


    Japan has qualified for their impressive seventh straight World Cup, though they’re generally expected to qualify from a relatively easy qualification stage & anything less would be considered a disappointment. Another squad with lesser known names but the talent to impress, it’s hard to see them getting past the likes of Spain & Germany in their hopes of securing their first quarter final spot in the tournament’s history. Led by former Liverpool youngster Takumi Minamino & Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma, Japan are an exciting squad that you can’t help but to root for. Sadly that will likely not be enough to see them make their mark on history & I expect them to bow out in the group stage once again.

    Prediction: Eliminated in Group Stage

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