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Germany vs Japan Match Preview

21 Nov 2022 17:39    

The match

Germany and Japan kick off their World Cup campaigns at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. They are part of a group also containing Spain and Costa Rica. Germany are not coming into this tournament in the best of form. Despite Hansi Flick overseeing a necessary managerial overhaul after the disappointing 2018 World Cup, Germany have lacked the critical edge too many times and this should be a worry against stronger teams. They have drawn five of their last eight games, winning just two of those. Their most recent 1-0 friendly against Oman exhibited a familiar worrying pattern for Germany, who have now failed to score more than once in six of their last eight. On the upside, their squad is full of experience as well as talent, while attacker Niklas Fullkrug justified his call-up by scoring in his first game. Germany have faced off with Japan two times before, winning one and drawing the other.

The Blue Samurais enter this tournament with a talented squad but surely know that eliminating either of Germany or Spain will be a tall order. They lost against Canada in their final warm-up match, yet it was their first loss after five games unbeaten, having kept clean sheets in each of those. The Japanese side have fared impressively in recent competitive games, losing just three of their last seventeen internationals and keeping clean sheets in eleven of those. However, barring two impressive 10-0 and 14-0 wins against admittedly lowly opposition, their struggles to finish opponents off could come back to haunt them in this tournament. It is indicative that they have only scored more than twice in just three of their last nine internationals. With regards to their previous record against Germany, they are winless in two meetings against them, conceding five goals in the process.

Key Statistics

Seven of Germany’s last nine games have featured Under 2.5 goals

Germany have failed to score more than once in six of their last eight games

Japan have kept clean sheets in five of their last six games

Ten of Japan’s last sixteen games have seen Under 2,5 goals

Japan have conceded just three goals in their last eleven away games

The bet of our experts

While Germany are rightly the favourites for this one, their recent defensive struggles do not justify the huge favouritism of the Overs. Both sides have been more solid than not in the lead-up to this encounter, while Germany’s profligacy and Japan’s solidity at the back make an Unders pick greatly attractive. Back the Asian Under 3 goals in this one.

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