Germany measure their favoritism against competitive Japan
The Teutons want to recover the lineup of solid candidates after the 'bump' of 2018, while the Japanese seek to be a real alternative
MADRID, 22 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The German team faces Japan this Wednesday (2:00 p.m.) in the first match of Group E in the World Cup in Qatar, a match in which the 'Maanchaft' wants to start their World Cup adventure with a smile and lay the first stone on their process to recover favoritism, against a Japanese team willing to be a serious contender in a group in which they are the alternative to Germany and Spain.
Hans-Dieter Flick's men arrive in Qatar with a less outstanding selection in terms of big names, although with a very balanced and young team, which guarantees grit and hunger in the tournament. And it is that this World Cup is a golden opportunity to confirm the renewal of the selection, with a change of generation forced after falling at the first exchange in Russia 2018.
Germany was proclaimed world champion in the 2014 World Cup, in Brazil, achieving its fourth title in history, and thanks to a group at its peak of performance that was destined to lead a long cycle in international football. From there, he began a process of revitalizing the squad that he caught halfway through the 2018 tournament, where they fell in the group stage, 'victims' of the champion's curse -the last three champions have suffered it (Italy , Spain and Germany)-.
Now, the team that makes its debut this Wednesday in Qatar is a block already established in Flick's stage, which, however, did not convince in the last League of Nations. The former player maintains weighty names such as the starting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer or the striker Thomas Müller, who, given the loss of speedy Leroy Sané, due to injury, may have a place in the 'eleven' against the 'Blue Samurai'.
However, the responsibility of the new German time, although with a model similar to that of Joachim Löw, lies with footballers with little experience in major international tournaments. This is the case of the aforementioned Sané, Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, Jamal Musiala or Youssoufa Moukoko, forced to make forget the Real Madrid player Toni Kroos, retired from the national team, or the forward Timo Werner, injured.
Not being among the top favorites may help a young squad, called to lead the German soccer revolution in the short-medium term. In addition, starting off on the right foot would make you forget the somewhat irregular streak that the 'Maanchaft' has maintained in 2022, with only three wins in nine games.
It will be the first official confrontation between Germany and Japan, who have met on two previous occasions, with a draw (2-2) in 2006 and a German victory (0-3) in 2004. But the 'Blue Samurai' will not They come to Qatar 'for a walk', and they have already become a regular in this type of tournament, with their seventh consecutive participation since their debut in 1998 in France.
With a generation that is more talented, faster and younger than the previous ones, Japan will fight against the experience and solidity of established teams such as Spain and Germany and the experience in big events of Costa Rica. "We want to be in the round of 16 or even more, that would mean that we have made history", wished the Japanese coach, Hajime Moriyasu, in the preview of the duel against the Germans.
And it is that the Japanese have not been able to overcome the barrier of the first crossings since they achieved it in 'their' tournament in 2002. Now, for Moriyasu he presented a squad with experience in Europe, since up to 16 footballers play in leagues of the 'Old Continent'. Daichi Kamada (Eintracht), Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Takumi Minamino (Monaco) or Daizen Maeda (Celtic), are some of the hopes of the Japanese, with Take Kubo (Real Sociedad) and Gaku Shibasaki (Leganés) as football representatives Spanish.
In 2018 they also obtained a pass to the round of 16, after beating Colombia in the group stage and being tied at 'everything' with Senegal, except for yellow cards, an aspect for which they advanced to the crosses. However, they lost to Belgium 3-2 despite leading 2-0 in the 69th minute. She didn't have too much trouble confirming her presence in Qatar, and she is the current Asian runner-up.
ALEMANIA: Neuer; Hofmann, Niklas Sule, Rudiger, Kehrer; Goretzka, Kimmich, Musiala; Gnabry, Havertz and Muller.
JAPÓN: Gonda; Sakai, Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Nagatomo; Endo, Shibasaki, Ito, Kamada, Kubo; Maeda.
--REFEREE: Ivan Barton (ELS)
--ESTADIO: Khalifa International Stadium.
--TIME: 2:00 p.m./Gol Mundial and Movistar.