Spain, Germany, Japan, and Costa Rica are all in Group E. With a good mix of youth and experience, Spain are expected to bag the group.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup kicks off on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, with the hosts facing Ecuador in Group A. The tournament was scheduled to begin the following day with Senegal’s match against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium, but Qatar’s game was moved up to allow them to open their home tournament.
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Spain, Germany, Japan, and Costa Rica are all in Group E. With a mix of youth and experience, Luis Enrique’s team is expected to finish first in the group. Despite being at a different level than before, Germany are expected to finish second to Spain. Costa Rica is a dangerous team that can finish third against Japan. Here’s a breakdown of each team’s strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
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Strengths – La Roja’s form leading up to the FIFA World Cup has been incredible, with their only loss coming to Switzerland in their last nine matches. Spain’s vigorous pressing and young and sensational blood at the heart of the midfield make them look very balanced and like a team that has come to Qatar looking for a deeper run in the tournament.
Weaknesses – The major problem for Spain is the solid finisher, which the team has been looking for quite some time. Hence, it leaves a lot of scoring opportunities as a great striker knows and anticipates better. But with a lot of supply through the middle, and if they are able to convert, Spain could be a dangerous team moving forward.
Opportunities – With Luis Enrique’s ambition and the squad Spain have this time in Qatar, as well as the high press football they will engage, Spain could very well challenge for the title and win their second World Cup.
Threats – The most significant shortcoming for the La Roja is the lack of either a rock-solid goalscorer or a group of individuals who are promised to score and become a significant threat to the opposition.
Strengths – Germany aren’t the same as it once was, but the team has a good mix of youth and experience and is blessed with many superstars. Hansi Flick’s possession-based football will be beneficial, and if Germany can strike big on their day, they could well and truly put goals between themselves and the opposition.
Weaknesses – The disadvantage of Germany’s shift toward more artistic and attractive football is its weakness at the backline of defense. The back defensive setup could use some work and will desperately need to step up in Qatar. Hansi Flick has had issues with the quality on the same.
Opportunities – With not a lot of pressure and fewer expectations from the fans, Germany could pull a rabbit of their hat under Hansi Flick and go on to win their fifth World Cup title in Qatar.
Threats – Hansi Flick, for some time has been looking for dangerous full-backs who can attack and defend, and Germany are in the process of a proper rebuild. With a shaky defensive line, Germany risks conceding a number of goals that will come back to haunt them.
Strengths – Costa Rica’s main man, Keylor Navas, is their most valuable asset. They are a tactically solid side that can be difficult to break down. Costa Rica has had a surprising run to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, winning seven of their last nine games which could cause some upsets.
Weaknesses – With risk comes reward, and with good defensive play comes average offensive ideas. Costa Rica has struggled to score recently and has scored the fewest goals in Qatar qualification.
Opportunities – Costa Rica have blown hot and cold in FIFA World Cups due to realistic expectations, but their best run came in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when they advanced to the Quarterfinals, and they will look to spring a few surprises this time around.
Threats – With seven clean sheets in the qualifying round and averaging second-best for saves, Costa Rica genuinely have sorted their defensive front. Still, the attacking side of things could be their only threat going into the World Cup in Qatar.
Strengths – Japan has been a sensational side, and their consistency has provided them with fantastic opportunities in the Asian continent, with Qatar 2022 marking their seventh consecutive World Cup appearance. They are a team that is known for pulling off a few upsets, and their football speaks for itself. Japan could genuinely pose a threat to other titanic teams such as Spain and Germany.
Weaknesses – Japan lacks squad depth and quality in certain areas, making it difficult for them to compete on the biggest stage. Certain players are inexperienced as well, and Moriyasu will be hoping they perform well under pressure, so uncertainty and lack of confidence could be a major weakness.
Opportunities – As cool as it sounds, Giant killing is indeed a possibility in Group E. Japan has a chance to qualify for the round of 16 stages for the fourth time and overtake either Spain or Germany in Group E. They have been solid on defense and come into the tournament in good form, having lost only two of their previous 16 games.
Threats – Japan may feel a little unlucky to be in the same group as Spain and Germany and would have probably backed themselves to make it out of the group stage in any other mega event, but the two European giants may be too much to handle for the Asian side.