Germany have been handed a tough group in their quest for redemption at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The four-time world champions have been drawn in Group E, and will face off against Spain, Japan, and the winner of the intercontinental playoff between New Zealand and Costa Rica.
Germany’s last meeting against Spain did not go so well, with Joachim Löw’s side on the wrong end of a 0-6 drubbing to the eventual Nations League finalists. However, things have changed since that fateful day. Germany now have a new coach in the form of Hansi Flick, who has a knack for taking out Spanish opposition with a bang. During his stint at Bayern Munich, Flick took apart Barcelona and Atletico Madrid 8-2 and 4-0, respectively. It remains to be seen how well he’ll play against the national side.
Japan have a lot of players in the Bundesliga, so that’ll provide some familiarity between the two sides. The Samurai Blue have had a topsy-turvy qualifying campaign, even going as far as to barely rescue a point against dead last Vietnam in their final game. However, considering Germany’s last World Cup match against Asian opposition didn’t go so well (ahem South Korea), Flick’s men will need to be on their toes to avoid another upset.
Germany’s final opponent in the group will not be determined until June, when Costa Rica and New Zealand play each other for one of the final spots at November’s tournament. However, no matter who comes up, it will not be a walk in the park. Costa Rica have already proven multiple times that they are capable of delivering upsets, while New Zealand were the only unbeaten team in the last World Cup they played.
Germany will face Japan in their first group game and Spain in their second, before closing out the group stage against either Costa Rica or New Zealand.
Here is the full draw: