Germany vs Japan predictions: Germans can make flying start in Qatar
- Japan have not beaten Germany in their two previous meetings
- Germany have kept one clean sheet in their last eight outings
- Recommended bet: Germany to win and both teams to score
Germany will be determined to make a strong start in a difficult looking Group E at the World Cup as they face Japan in Al Rayyan on Wednesday.
With Spain and Costa Rica also in arguably the toughest group at the finals, Germany cannot afford any mistakes when they face the Japanese at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Germany crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stages in Russia, as they finished rock bottom of their table below Sweden, Mexico and South Korea.
Now with Hansi Flick at the helm for his first World Cup as national head coach, Germany are considered one of the contenders for the title in Qatar.
First they must get past a Japan side that will certainly be no pushovers and will have ambitions of reaching the knockout stages for the fourth time in their World Cup history.
Germany will be without the experienced Marco Reus after he suffered another injury setback ahead of a major tournament.
Flick will be boosted by the returns of forward Thomas Muller and defender Antonio Rudiger to training last weekend, while striker Niclas Fullkrug has recovered from illness.
As for Japan, there has been illness in their camp too, but Karou Mitoma is back fit, while Wataru Endo has also recovered from a head injury.
Hidemasa Morita remains a doubt with a calf injury but head coach Hajime Moriyasu is expected to welcome back Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu after he was rested last time out against Canada.
These sides have only played each other on two previous occasions, with Germany winning 3-0 in Yokohama in 2004, before a 2-2 draw in a World Cup warm-up match in 2006.
Die Mannschaft have hardly been in dazzling form leading into the World Cup in Qatar, with just two wins from their last eight outings.
Japan's 2-1 friendly defeat last time out was their first loss in six games, in a run that included wins over Hong Kong, South Korea and the US.
While Germany's form has not been great going into the tournament, Flick's squad is still blessed with plenty of talent across the field.
With a blend of youth and experience, Germany have the potential to go far in Qatar and should make a winning start to the competition.
The Germans' defence will be a cause of concern though, having kept just one clean sheet in their last eight matches.
With that in mind, Japan should have their moments in this game and it would be no surprise to see the Samurai Blue get on the scoresheet.
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