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Sport Preview: World Cup 2022 - Weds 23rd Nov 2022

World Cup Previews: Weds 23rd Nov

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Germany vs Japan: Weds 23rd Nov, 1:00pm

Outright backers of Germany will have been running for the hills after watching Wednesday’s warm-up win over Oman.

The 1-0 success was far from convincing as a strong German side struggled to get to grips with 75th-ranked Oman, or more accurately the 30 degree heat.

Hansi Flick will have used the game to assess his squad and might well have got an indication of the players who can cope with the baking temperatures.

There’s no doubt Flick’s men will have to up the ante against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday afternoon and there will not be too many rushing to pile into the 1/2 about the 1990 winners.

They were poor in transition against Oman and had their opponents been sharp in front of goal it may have been a different story.

Japan unfortunately may not be the clinical outfit to expose Germany’s weaknesses with just 12 goals in 10 games in the final round of qualifying.

But they will be tough opposition and are seasoned World Cup campaigners in their seventh successive finals.

Japan have a pretty deep squad with plenty of European experience and they are a possession-based side, who will provide tough opposition for Germany.

Spain vs Costa Rica: Weds 23rd Nov, 4:00pm

Spain will face the same old problem in Qatar. Can they score enough goals?

They put in a positive showing at Euro 2020 where they reached the last four and they made the Nations League final, losing to France late on.

But barring the 5-0 win over Iceland in March, they have struggled for goals.

Gavi, Pedri and Ferran Torres are the future of the Spain team but they will still rely heavily on their experienced players in Qatar. Expect them to dominate possession against Costa Rica – the oldest squad at the tournament – but whether they can finish the chances they will fashion remains to be seen.

Against Costa Rica one goal should be enough to set them on their way, but they may find things tougher thereafter.

Costa Rica’s preparations suffered a big setback when a planned friendly with Iraq had to be axed on Thursday due to a passport issue.

Hardly the perfect way to warm up against Luis Enrique’s pass masters.

Costa Rica are defensively strong and have plenty of experience, but their attack is short of quality.

They managed just 14 goals in 15 matches in qualifying and the play-off win over New Zealand and in a tough-looking Group E every goal may well be celebrated like a victory.

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