Germany vs Japan – Preview

Match Preview

Germany’s bid for a record-equalling fifth World Cup win begins with a match with Japan, who sit 13 places below them in the FIFA Rankings, at number 24. Japan had five clean sheets in a row between July and September — albeit mostly against poor opposition — but they will be tested defensively by a German team that has scored in 15 of their 16 matches since losing to England at the Euros. Germany has been a draw specialist of late, with five stalemates in their past eight outings.

For Samurai Blue, Arsenal’s full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu looks to be winning the race to be fit in time for the opener against Die Mannschaft, for whom Marco Reus’ wretched luck with injuries on the eve of championships continues. Chelsea’s Timo Werner will also miss the tournament. Both teams seem likely to adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation and, with Spain also in Group E, Germany cannot afford any mistakes.

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