2022 World Cup preview: Group E

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The World Cup is just three days away! To prepare for the matches and drama that will play on the world stage, Philly Sports Network is previewing the eight groups and 32 nations competing to be champions of the world! Group E has a playoff winner in Costa Rica, a world juggernaut, Germany, an AFC powerhouse, Japan, and a European great in Spain.

World Cup
HARRISON, NJ – SEPTEMBER 27: A general view of the Al Rihla official match ball of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the corner during the first half of the international friendly soccer game between Argentina and Jamaica on September 27, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Group E: The group of death in 2022?

Group E has been labeled the group of death by many because each of the four nations in the group has a history of either being great or being difficult to beat!

  • Costa Rica (31)
  • Germany (11)
  • Japan (24)
  • Spain (7)

Costa Rica has made cinderella runs at previous World Cups, Germany is a four-time men’s World Cup winner, Japan is always organized and can be deadly, and Spain won it all in 2010. This group is the strongest of any at the 2022 World Cup.

Costa Rica will look to make an improbable run.

Costa Rica finished fourth in CONCACAF qualifying, which meant they had to go on to an intercontinental playoff against New Zealand to see if they could make the 2022 men’s World Cup. A 1-0 win in that match proved that they could make the cut to be one of the final 32 nations at the World Cup.

Los Ticos are in the group of Death and have the worst odds to get out of Group E, but they have heard this all before. In 2014 no one gave them a shot in a group with England, Italy, and Uruguay, and they topped that group. Who’s to say the passion and pride of playing at the World Cup won’t push Costa Rica on to an improbable place in the last 16?

Costa Rica takes on Spain on the fourth day of the tournament. Could this be the beginning of a Los Ticos run? They’ll need to get some kind of points from this match to start believing.

Can Germany mimic its glory days of 2014?

Germany won the 2014 World Cup emphatically! They followed that tournament up with a chance to repeat in 2018, and things did not go their way. Germany finished dead last in their group in the last World cup. This time around they’re looking to mimic their form from 2014.

The Germans won nine of their 10 qualifying fixtures en route to making the 2022 World Cup. They have an 80.4% chance to make it to the knockout rounds, and their recent form shows that they will be ready for the task at hand; Germany has lost only once in the last calendar year.

They will hope for more success like this when they open the tournament against Japan on the fourth day of the tournament. A win against the Japanese would go a long way to Germany’s hopes of making the knockouts.

Japan will try to beat some world greats en route to knockouts.

Japan is always known for their organization as a collective team. This saw them have a seven-wins, one-draw, and two-loss record in AFC qualifying. They made it to the World Cup, and fit into this group of death with an interesting opportunity to show they are a better unit than some of the World’s top-ranked nations.

This team has only lost twice since the end of 2021, yet odds makers still only give them a 25.4% chance to get out of this group of death. This means that Japan has nothing to lose as they go into these group-stage matches. Can their collective grit and determination pull off a great upset at the 2022 men’s World Cup?

Japan will hope this is the case. They open their tournament against mighty Germany on the fourth day of the tournament. Finding a way to win the first game, as they did in 2018, could be the key for this nation to progress!

Spain wants to mimic its 2010 run to the Cup.

Spain was the champion of the World 12 years ago in South Africa. They then went on a bit of a downturn as a golden generation was aging out and a new crop of stars was coming into the spotlight. Now, Spain is ranked seventh in the world and is the favorite, with a 50.5% chance to top the group of death at the 2022 men’s World Cup.

The Spanish went six, one, and one in UEFA qualifying. They scored 15 goals and let in only five in eight qualifying matches. This team has lost only once in the last calendar year and is ready to show that they are ready to be counted among the favorites to go deep in this World Cup. After falling to 2018 hosts Russia in the round of 16 in 2018, this version of Spain is looking to mimic its world-winning form from 2010.

They will get the chance to showcase this in their first game against Costa Rica on the fourth day of the tournament. Can Spain live up to the expectation of being a favorite to come out of the group of death, or will they fall short of their expectations?

Group E Matches

Matchday 1

  • Germany vs Japan – Wednesday, Nov. 23 – 8 am ET
  • Spain vs Costa Rica – Wednesday, Nov. 23 – 11 am ET

Matchday 2

  • Japan vs Costa Rica – Sunday, Nov. 27 – 5 am ET
  • Spain vs Germany – Sunday, Nov. 27 – 2 pm ET

Matchday 3

  • Japan vs Spain – Thursday, Dec. 1 – 2 pm ET
  • Costa Rica vs Germany – Thursday, Dec. 1 – 2 pm ET

Don’t miss out on PSN’s other World Cup group previews

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Mandatory Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire