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World Cup 2022 Group E Preview: Spain, Germany favorites to advance

We’re breaking down Group E at the 2022 World Cup.

England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3 Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner with the action getting underway in Qatar on November 20. Spain and Germany are the clear favorites in Group E, but Japan and Costa Rica also boast some talented rosters and will look to upset the bigger teams in the group stage. Let’s take a closer look at Group E ahead of their opening matches on November 23.

Spain

One World Cup champions in 2010, Spain have struggled to find success in this tournament since then, exiting in the group stage in 2014 followed by a round of 16 exit in 2018. Luis Enrique will look to right the ship this year as he hopes to take his team all the way to the final. Furia Roja were once a dominant team in international play, and on paper they’ve got the roster to become that powerhouse again. With the likes of Ferran Torres, Pedri, Alvaro Morata, Rodri and Aymeric Laporte among plenty of others, there’s no question they have the talent to win their second World Cup title.

Japan

Since their first World Cup qualification in 1998, Japan haven’t missed out on a single iteration since, making their seventh consecutive appearance in the tournament. They’ve failed to make it past the round of 16, though they’ve advanced from the group stage three times in their previous six trips. They’ll be led by Takumi Minamino, who currently plays with Monaco in Ligue 1 and has 17 goals through 43 caps for Japan’s national team. Minamino scored 10 goals in this World Cup qualification cycle and will look to help cause some trouble for both Spain and Germany as No. 27-ranked Japan hopes to upset one or both of those teams while setting their sights on the knockout rounds.

Germany

One of the most dominant teams in World Cup history, the four-time champions are back in 2022 to chase down their fifth title, which would put them level with Brazil for the most World Cup wins. The Germans hit a rare snag in 2018 as they finished last in Group F during their title defense, winning just one game as Sweden and Mexico advanced to the knockouts.

Manager Hansi Flick, who took over last year after longtime coach Joachim Low stepped down, will set his sights on another championship as the nation looks for redemption from last time around. Led by Thomas Muller, the German team is riddled with stars like Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner, Antonio Rudiger and Manuel Neuer.

Costa Rica

It took an intercontinental playoff for Costa Rica to qualify this year, but Los Ticos defeated New Zealand back in June to claim the final spot in the tournament. It’s their sixth appearance, and their third consecutive trip to the cup as they find themselves in a tricky spot with three other very talented teams. Most of their players come from their domestic Liga PFD, but they have plenty of experience across the veterans in their squad. Keylor Navas is their star goalkeeper, who has allowed an average of one goal per game through is 107 caps over the years. Navas currently plays with PSG and has three UEFA Champions League titles under his belt from his time with Real Madrid. Costa Rica will have their work cut out for them in this group as they’re the least favored to win the group.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds to win Group E

Spain: -115
Germany: +115
Japan: +1000
Costa Rica: +5000

Group E Schedule

Wednesday, November 23
Germany vs. Japan, 8 a.m. ET
Spain vs. Costa Rica, 11 a.m. ET

Sunday, November 27
Spain vs. Germany, 2 p.m. ET
Japan vs. Costa Rica, 5 a.m. ET

Thursday, December 1
Spain vs. Japan, 2 p.m. ET
Germany vs. Costa Rica, 2 p.m. ET