Group E

Perennial European powerhouses Germany and Spain are expected to dominate Group E and Die Mannschaft may just have the edge in terms of goalscoring potential. It will be a major surprise if Japan or Costa Rica can trouble the big two in this pool.

Germany and La Roja both disappointed in Russia but the four-time champions are rebuilding nicely under Hansi Flick following the departure of Joachim Low, while 2010 winners Spain appear back on track after strong Euro 2020 and Nations League showings.

Japan have been handed a tough draw but they nearly caused an almighty shock in 2018 when taking a 2-0 lead in their round of 16 tie against Belgium, who fought back to hit a winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time, so the Blue Samurai shouldn't be underestimated.

Costa Rica are also no strangers to shaking higher-ranked opponents, as they reached the quarter-finals in 2014 after topping a pool which featured Uruguay, Italy and England. Los Ticos started slowly in qualifying for Qatar but an eight-game unbeaten run contained seven wins.

Group E

Rank Teams Played Won Drawn Lost Points
1 JapanJapan 3 2 0 1 6
2 SpainSpain 3 1 1 1 4
3 GermanyGermany 3 1 1 1 4
4 Costa RicaCosta Rica 3 1 0 2 3