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World Cup Group E betting odds and predictions: Two World Cup heavyweights meet in Group E, with previous winners Spain and Germany joined by Costa Rica and Japan.

World Cup Group E is set to be one of the most exciting groups at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Spain and Germany will be viewed as the strongest teams in the group, however, both nations are going through developmental phases with plenty of quality young players entering the squads. Japan and Costa Rica make up the remainder of the group, looking to upset the European giants.

Spain's Mikel Merino (8) celebrates with Dani Olmo (19) and Pedri (16).  © Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Spain's Mikel Merino (8) celebrates with Dani Olmo (19) and Pedri (16). © Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Group E fixtures

Wednesday Nov 23: Germany vs Japan 5am ET, Spain vs Costa Rica 8am ET

Sunday Nov 27: Japan vs Costa Rica 5am ET, Spain vs Germany 11am ET

Thursday Dec 1: Ghana vs Uruguay, South Korea vs Portugal, both 2pm ET

World Cup 2022 Group E predictions

Spain has a new, young group of players that will look to match the success of the squad of the previous decade that won three international trophies. During 2022 World Cup qualifying, Spain topped their group, proving a difficult team to breakdown and conceding just five goals in eight games. It's something that has developed since the 2020 Euros, where they showed that they're tough to beat as they reached the semi finals before being eliminated by Italy in a penalty shootout. We have seen a smoother transition of young upcoming talent into the squad from Spain compared to Germany, which will give them the upper hand in World Cup Group E. The two sides met each other in the Nations League in 2020 which saw Spain embarrass Germany 6-0.

In the group, Spain and Germany are most punters choice to qualify to the knock out stages of the tournament, leaving Japan and Costa Rica needing to produce a major shock if they are to progress. In what will be a massive game between the two minnows of the group in the second game week of the World Cup, we could see either of the two teams eliminated before the third match has even kicked off. Recently, Japan who enter their seventh World Cup has displayed more attacking threat than Costa Rica, this, as well as having more World Cup experience, should see them avoid coming bottom in the group.

World Cup 2022 Group E free picks and prediction

  • Spain to top group E -120

  • Costa Rica to finish bottom of group E

Spain overview

Spain is a team to keep an eye on this FIFA World Cup with a new pool of young talent replacing previous quality players such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and David Villa. The talent identification set up in Spain has developed a new crop of stars ready to bring World Cup glory back to the nation.

Spain came first in their 2022 World Cup qualifying group. They showed to be a decent side scoring 15 goals, while winning six of their eight games. At the 2020 Euros, Spain showed resilience but also a lack of cutting edge. They reached the semi finals despite only winning one game in 90 minutes over their six game tournament.

After playing together for another couple years, Spain has displayed strong performances in the UEFA Nations League, beating Italy and Germany and displaying the improvement of the squad since the last international tournament. We expect Spain to create plenty of chances each game with goals naturally falling to Barcelona star Ferran Torres. The former Manchester City player scored four goals during Spain’s qualifying process and we can see him adding to more international goals to his tally in Qatar.

World Cup 2022 Spain picks and predictions

  • Spain to score over 8.5 team goals

  • Ferran Torres- top team goalscorer

Germany overview

Germany won their World Cup qualifying group to book their ticket to Qatar. The four-time champions won nine games out of 10 during that period, losing to North Macedonia in a shock defeat. They showed their attacking talent scoring an average of 3.6 goals per game without failing to score in any of those. The most successful European nation in World Cup history will head to Qatar as the ones to watch with a handful of quality offensive players such as Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry. The latter has impressed in the last four seasons at Bayern Munich and was a standout player for Germany in qualifying, scoring five goals. We expect him to be the nation’s main threat at the 2022 World Cup.

Joachim Low led Germany to World Cup victory in 2014 but was unable to even get close to that achievement in the 2018 World Cup as they crashed out of the tournament in the group stages. Improvement was made at the 2020 Euros as they qualified for the knockout stages but were eliminated by England in the round of 16. In what is a young team that has showed a lack of chemistry with one another, this could be a tournament too soon for them to gel and reach the latter stages of the competition.

Germany and Bayern Munich midfielder Serge Gnabry. © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Germany and Bayern Munich midfielder Serge Gnabry. © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

World Cup 2022 Germany picks and predictions

  • Serge Gnabry top team goalscorer

  • Germany to be knocked out in the round of 16

Japan overview

Japan will head to their seventh ever World Cup tournament in November after finishing second in their qualifying group to ensure automatic passage to the 2022 finals in Qatar. During qualifying, Japan proved to be a disciplined side that were difficult to score against as seen in six of their victories that saw them keep a clean sheet.

The nation co-hosted the 2002 World Cup alongside South Korea but were eliminated in the round of 16, a fate well known to Japan soccer fans. Their World Cup history has seen them qualify from the group stages three times out of the six tournaments that they have been involved in, however progression to the quarter-finals has not yet been reached. Japan came closest to qualifying from the round of 16 in 2018 when they surprisingly led Belgium 2-0 but Nacer Chadli completed a 3-2 comeback in the final minute to break Japanese hearts.

With quality players such as Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda no longer part of the squad, it will be up to Liverpool attacker Takumi Minamino to lead his nation throughout the 2022 World Cup. The forward was important during qualifying with 10 goals, however, we think in a difficult group, qualification to the knock out stages will be too much of a mountain to climb for Japan.

World Cup 2022 Japan picks and predictions

  • Japan to not qualify from the group stages -500

  • Japan to score under 3.5 team goals

Costa Rica overview

Costa Rica were the last team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after a narrow 1-0 win against New Zealand. Former Arsenal player Joel Campbell scored early on in the match as Costa Rica made a fast start and the side displayed strong defensive resolute as New Zealand dominated possession for most of the game but were unable to find the net. The type of performances Costa Rica give often result in low scoring matches with 10 of their 14 qualifying games ending in under 2.5 match goals. The side are defensively sound, only conceding eight goals in qualifying, however, they only managed to score 13 goals, averaging less than a goal a game.

Qatar 2022 will be the nation’s sixth World Cup outing with their best performance being a quarter-final penalty shootout elimination by the Netherlands in 2014, with their second best result being in 1990 when they were knocked out in the round of 16. Costa Rica failed to progress from the group stages in the other three World Cups they’ve participated in. We struggle to see a side that has had little success in front of goal recently troubling Spain or Germany in World Cup Group E and managing to qualify from the group stage.

Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell (12). © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell (12). © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

  • Costa Rica to finish bottom of group E

  • Costa Rica to score under 2.5 team goals

Group E scenarios

The battle for first place in World Cup Group E will be a fierce contest as they are paired with group F in the round of 16 knockout stage of the tournament. Belgium will be favorites to top Group F which means the runner up of Group E is likely to face the Belgians whereas the winner of the Group E will go on to face the second placed nation in Group F – which is looking like it could be Croatia.

If our predictions are correct, there will be a repeat of the Euro 2020 round of 16 knockout match between Spain and Croatia. The game was a thrilling match which ended 3-3 with two late Croatian goals securing their comeback. However, Spain scored two extra time goals to progress to the next round. The other game would see Germany face Belgium where we predict Roberto Martínez’s side will qualify to the quarter finals.

Group E players to watch

Leroy Sane to be top team goalscorer

Bayern Munich star Leroy Sane is another part of Germany’s excellent attack that can cause any defense trouble on their day. The former Manchester City man started in nine games during qualifying showing that new manager Hansi Flick wants to bring the best out of a player that has struggled to find consistency of late. However the manager’s trust was rewarded as Sane scored four goals and assisted twice. When at his best, Sane has many attributes to his game that make him a goal threat and we can see him returning his manager’s faith in Qatar.

Pedri to win Young Player of the Tournament

Pedri to record most assists

Barcelona talent Pedri will head to just his second international tournament with Spain when they fly to Qatar in November. The young talent has already made a name for himself as he won Young Player of the Tournament at the 2020 Euros. The 19-year-old was the second youngest player during Spain’s qualification campaign and provided one assist in three appearances he made due to an injury. However Pedri made an excellent comeback in the latter stage of the 2021/22 season and if he continues this form into the first half of the 2022/23 campaign, we can see him having another great tournament for Spain.

Group E FAQs

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