FIFA World Cup 2022 will see 32 teams battle it out for the trophy over 64 games beginning November 20 in Qatar.
The teams for football’s biggest tournament have been drawn into eight groups of four teams each and the top two teams from each group will make the cut for the round of 16 or the pre-quarterfinals.
Group E of the Qatar World Cup is expected to be one of the most hotly contested groups, containing two former world champions.
Which teams are there in Group E?
Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has Spain, Germany, Japan and Costa Rica.
Who is expected to qualify for the Round of 16 from Group E?
Spain and Germany are the two teams expected to qualify directly for the Round of 16.
Germany is one of the most successful teams in the World Cup, with four titles to its name, its most recent one coming in 2014. Germany had a forgettable campaign in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after failing it qualify from the group stages, but the team has shown progress under Hansi Flick, who took over from Joachim Low. Flick’s team qualified for the Qatar World Cup after finishing top of Group J of the UEFA qualifiers. In the qualification campaign, it scored 36 goals and conceded just four. It beat Oman 1-0 recently in a warmup match.
Spain enjoyed its ‘Golden Generation’ from 2008 to 2012, winning its first and only World Cup in 2010. It qualified for the Qatar World Cup after finishing top of Group B of the UEFA qualifiers. It scored 15 goals in its qualifying campaign and conceded five goals. In the 2018 World Cup, Spain lost to Russia on penalties in the Round of 16. Luis Enrique’s men will be looking to better the record. While Spain is not one of the hot favourites, it has a talented pool of young players who have the capability to shine on the big stage. It recently clinched a 3-1 win against Jordan in a warmup match.
Do not count Japan out
Japan’s team has multiple players who play in the top flight of European football. In the 2018 World Cup, it almost pulled off one of the World’s greatest upsets against Belgium after taking a 2-0 lead in the Round of 16. However, a late Belgian comeback prevented that, breaking Japanese hearts. Japan, which has never finished higher than the Round of 16, will find it tough to qualify for the group stages, but it would be a mistake to negate it completely.
Why can Costa Rica be a surprise?
Costa Rica is the lowest-ranked side in Group E but isn’t a pushover by any means. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Costa Rica defeated Italy and Uruguay in the group stages to qualify for the knockouts. It then beat Greece in the Round of 16 before finally succumbing to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Therefore, beating stronger teams is very much in Costa Rica’s forte. While the Costa Rican team is not as strong as the one in 2014, it has the experience, on its side. Do not be surprised if it pulls off an upset.