Germany will face Japan in a highly anticipated friendly match at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena on Saturday evening.
This encounter holds significance as Germany seeks revenge for their defeat against Japan during the World Cup in Qatar, where they suffered a 2-1 loss.
As hosts of Euro 2024, Germany has been exempted from participating in the qualification process for the upcoming summer tournament.
Consequently, they have not played a competitive match since the World Cup. After losing to Japan in their opening World Cup clash, Germany managed a 1-1 draw with Germany and secured a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica.
However, finishing third in Group E, they fell short of qualifying by two points behind Japan.
The World Cup disappointment marked Germany’s second successive group-stage exit, signifying another below-par campaign on the international stage despite being four-time champions.
Although Germany started their post-World Cup journey with a 2-0 win against Peru in March, they have since failed to secure a victory, recording one draw and three losses in four friendlies.
Additionally, they failed to score in two of these matches. Consequently, Hansi Flick and his players are determined to resume winning ways in this upcoming clash.
On the other hand, Japan surprised everyone during the World Cup in Qatar, defeating both Germany and Spain to top Group E. Unfortunately, their journey ended in the last 16 as they fell to Croatia on penalties.
Despite facing a barrage of shots and possessing only 26% of the ball, the Samurai Blue managed to come from behind and defeat Germany 2-1 in Qatar. Notably, late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano sealed the victory for Japan.
After a 1-0 defeat against Costa Rica, Hajime Moriyasu’s side showcased their resilience by overcoming Spain with a 2-1 comeback victory in their third group game.
Despite 83% possession for Spain, Japan triumphed. Following the World Cup, Japan continued their good form during the subsequent international break, registering only one loss in four matches.
In June, Japan dominated El Salvador with a resounding 6-0 win, featuring goals from six different players. They further solidified their form by defeating Peru 4-1 in their most recent outing. With such momentum, Japan is confident of causing more trouble for Germany in this upcoming clash.
Germany’s friendly form: W L D L L
Germany’s form in all competitions: W W L D L L
Japan’s friendly form: D L W W
Japan’s form in all competitions: W L D L W W
Brighton & Hove Albion’s standout performer, Pascal Gross, has earned his first call-up to the Germany squad due to his impressive displays this season. Uncapped goalkeeper Oliver Baumann also joins the team.
Niclas Fullkrug, who plays for Borussia Dortmund, last season’s Bundesliga top scorer, had to withdraw from the squad due to a minor injury. He is replaced by Thomas Muller, a seasoned veteran with 121 caps.
Hansi Flick has also included promising youngsters Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, and Kevin Schade in the squad, while omitting big-name players such as Marco Reus, Timo Werner, Mario Gotze, and Leon Goretzka.
Japan’s starting lineup is expected to feature Premier League stars Kaoru Mitoma, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Wataru Endo. Celtic duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda are likely choices for the attacking positions.
Notably, five members of Japan’s squad play their club football in Germany, including Ko Itakura from Borussia Monchengladbach, Ritsu Doan from Freiburg, and Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart.
Possible starting lineups:
- Ter Stegen
Prediction: Germany 2-1 Japan
Despite a disappointing year with only two wins in their last eight games across all competitions, Germany is expected to bounce back soon.
We anticipate a narrow victory for Hansi Flick’s men over Japan, but the Samurai Blue will undoubtedly pose a strong challenge throughout the match.