Kick-off: 1300, 23/11/2022
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Germany and Japan kick off proceedings in World Cup Group E and Die Mannschaft are again among the favourites for outright glory, having last won the tournament in 2014.
Hansi Flick’s side are certainly expected to win their opening game, with them and Spain looking likely to progress to the knockout stages from this pool.
We reckon 1.95 for the four-time champions to oblige and over 2.5 goals in the game is a solid Germany vs Japan prediction.
Germany will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing campaign in 2018, where they finished bottom of their World Cup group.
They suffered another poor tournament at Euro 2020, when only a late equaliser from Leon Goretzka against Hungary saved them from going home early.
That draw meant they progressed to the final 16, but there they were knocked out by England.
However, following the departure of long-time leader Joachim Low, Die Mannschaft breezed through the Qatar 2022 qualification games under former Bayern Munich boss Flick.
Germany finished nine points clear at the top of Group J, with their only hiccup being a 2-1 loss to North Macedonia, which ended their 35-game unbeaten streak in World Cup qualifying.
Veteran Bayern players Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller bring experience to a strong squad, which features the likes of Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane are other prominent names in a powerful attacking line-up.
Japan enter their seventh consecutive World Cup and will be aiming to try and go further than the final 16 for the first time.
They have progressed from their group on three occasions, though, including when beating Colombia 2-1 and drawing 2-2 with Senegal four years ago, before losing 3-2 to Belgium in the knockout stage after leading 2-0.
The Samurai Blue qualified for Qatar 2022 after finishing second in Group B of the Asian qualifiers, falling one point short of Saudi Arabia.
They had a shaky start to that campaign, losing their opening game against Oman and, after beating China 1-0, going down to the eventual group winners.
However, they quickly picked up their form, winning six consecutive games before a 1-1 draw with Vietnam meant they missed out on finishing first.
Japan have strong attacking options, with Genk winger Junya Ito performing well in qualifying, and are also bolstered by Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and former Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino.
This could be one of the livelier opening encounters, so 4.75 for both teams to score in the first half is a fair price for our Germany vs Japan betting tips.
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