Thomas Muller can lead Germany to a good result in the 2022 World Cup opener, but the Japanese experience in the Bundesliga league probably help the side cause an upset.
Germany is known for winning the World Cup four times, especially since they still have Thomas Müller, a star of the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.
The 33-year-old attacking Middlefield has amassed a stash of individual awards at football’s biggest competition: 10 WC goals, one Best Young Player award, one Golden Boot award, one Silver Boot award, and a place n the 2014 World Cup All-star XI.
Meanwhile, the Samurai Blue have won only one of their last 8 WC games, despite the fact that the sole win- in their Russia opener against Colombia- was enough to make them past it to the round of 16 last time out.
Japan have also many experiences on the global stage, taking part in 7 straight finals, but, they have never gone to the second round at consecutive editions.
But Muller may no longer be a solid starter under Flick, as Bayern Munich teammate Musiala is the face of this youth team.
The 19-year-old, who could have played for England in Qatar, is more than capable of claiming the title, having scored 9 goals and assisted six more in the Bundesliga this season. His 15 scoring involvements are the most of any teenager across Europe’s top 5 leagues.
“The Group of Death” at this WC may appear in Group E and Japan is truly a big test for Germany.
Minamino, like Musiala, is set for his World Cup debut, although the was named in Japan’s preliminary squad as long ago as Brazil in 2014.
Still, for Japan, Minamino was the key man in qualification, scoring 10 goals and assisting four – a form he will hope to carry into the finals.
Germany’s possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kehrer, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Gundogan; Hofmann, Musiala, Gnabry; Muller
Japan’s possible starting lineup:
Gonda; Sakai, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Shibasaki, Endo, Kamada; Ito, Asano, Minamino
Germany 3 – 0 Japan