Rudiger being Rudiger here. Maeda attempts to dribble past the Real Madrid player but is stopped in his tracks. Cleanly cut by Rudiger
Germany has hit the gas pedal right from the get go. It looks threatening deep inside the Japanese half but in the end gets disposessed.
Germany starts the proceedings, Musiala will be the player to watch out for. The 19-year old has had an excellent season thus far in the Bundesliga.
The stage is set
As we speak, the players have made their way into the middle and have lined up for the national anthems. First comes Germany’s anthem followed by Japan.
Just under 10 minutes for the kick-off. Will the four-time champion cruise through or will we witness yet another upset? Japan under Hajime Moriyasu has been in incredible form for quite a while now. A mouth-watering clash awaits!
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neur, Sule, Schlotterback, Rudiger, Raum, Kimmich, Gundogan, Gnabry, Musiala, Havertz, Muller
Japan (4-2-3-1): Gonda, Sakai, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Endo, Ito; Kamada, Tanaka, Kubo; Maeda.
This will be Germany’s 20th FIFA World Cup appearance, becoming only the second team, after Brazil, to reach the 20-participations mark in the tournament. The last time it didn’t participate in a World Cup edition was in 1950 – since then, it has progressed past the first round in every edition except for 2018, when it finished bottom of its group.
Germany: Neuer; Kehrer, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Gundogan; Hofmann, Musiala, Gnabry; Muller
Japan: Gonda; Sakai, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Morita, Endo, Kamada; Ito, Asano, Minamino
Germany gearing up to handle pressure in group opener against Japan
Germany goes into its World Cup Group E opener against Japan on Wednesday, knowing that this one game could potentially make or break its tournament hopes.
With 2010 world champion Spain awaiting next, the Germans cannot afford any slip-up against the Japanese and risk a potential early exit again.
The four-time champion has arrived in Qatar, a new team since its 2018 World Cup first-round shock elimination. It has since changed its coach, and a number of players and even dropped its official monicker ‘Die Mannschaft’.
Those four years since the Russian debacle – its earliest World Cup exit in more than 80 years – have been far from successful, with the Germans relegated from the Nations League in 2018 before rule changes kept it alive in the competition, and then crashing out of the Euro at the Round of 16 last year.
With new coach Hansi Flick, who won six titles with Bayern in 2021 before taking over just over a year ago, the Germans are hoping they now have what it takes to again make a deep run in the tournament.
“We have to be prepared for a tough battle against Japan,” said team director Oliver Bierhoff this week. “We have to be focused from the very first minute. Then everything is possible with the team.”
What Flick has yet to decide, is whether he will deploy one of his centre forwards, the strong and tall Niclas Fuellkrug, against the Japanese or go with the option of moving a winger such as Kai Havertz into the nine position.
Fuellkrug has been sidelined for the past several days with the flu.
Despite winning nine of its 10 qualifiers Germany has been unconvincing in attack in recent months, and calls for the use of a natural target man have grown considerably louder.
The Japanese know more about Germany’s game than most other teams in the tournament, with no fewer than eight German-based players in their squad.
Japan veteran Yuto Nagatomo said those eight, who include Europa League winner with Eintracht Frankfurt Daichi Kamada, were constantly feeding teammates information on their opponents.
“You don’t even have to ask – in the canteen or on the bus, you’re getting information from everywhere,” said Nagatomo.
Japan has also seen Germany’s weakness in defence and their vulnerability against quick counter-attacks.
An upset in the first match against the Germans could go a long way in getting it past the group stage, just like it had done in 2018 when it narrowly lost to Belgium in the Round of 16.
When will Germany vs Japan match take place?
Germany vs Japan FIFA World Cup will take place on November 23 at 6:30 PM IST at the Khalifa International stadium
Where can I watch Germany vs Japan World Cup match LIVE on TV?
The Germany vs Japan FIFA World Cup match will be telecasted live on the Sports18 Networks.
Where can I live stream Germany vs Japan World Cup match?
Germany vs Japan FIFA World Cup match can be live streamed on JioCinema.