World Cup Group E Matchday 1 Odds: Match Previews
The World Cup is here and we have some great games to unpack for you, especially in Group E. 2010 and 2014 champions Spain and Germany are the favourites to qualify from the group but they still have plenty of work to do.
Their squads aren’t nearly as strong as they once were, but they are still full of star quality, particularly in the youth department.
Germany vs Japan
- When? Wednesday 23rd November at 13:00 GMT
- Where? Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar
- Latest Result: 2-2, May 2006
- Broadcast: ITV
Germany and Japan haven’t met in a game since all the way back in 2006! It’s been a long time coming for these two sides to do battle and soon we’ll finally get to see them face off again.
For Germany, a win is the only result they can accept. Being in a group with another top team means that you need to win the smaller fixtures. This is something they massively struggled with at the last World Cup.
The combination of youth and experience in the German squad means that they have an ideal balance in terms of energy. Toni Kroos will be a stand out without a doubt, he has continued to perform at the highest level for Real Madrid and has maintained his place. He offers set-piece quality, killer passing and even has an eye for goal.
He will be complimented in midfield by Bayern duo Jamal Musiala and Leon Goretzka who are both stalwarts in Nagelsmann’s Munich side.
Japan will hope that Takehiro Tomiyasu can inspire their back line to keep Germany’s powerful frontline out.
Germany vs Japan Pick
We can see Germany winning this one, they simply have to, but it is the World Cup and it’s a very volatile tournament. Japan will score a goal but it won’t be enough to defeat Germany who will run out 3-1 winners on the day. 888sport have this at 10/1.
We can also see Serge Gnabry getting on the scoresheet, which is 6/4 or 54/1 when combined with a 3-1 score.
Spain vs Costa Rica
- When? Wednesday 23rd November
- Where? Al Thumama Stadium, Qatar
- Latest Result: Spain 5-0 Costa Rica, November 2017
- Broadcast: ITV
2010 World Champs Spain take on Costa Rica in their first outing in Qatar in what should be a routine victory. Spain may be weaker than they were in 2010 but they still have a very decent squad.
La Masia produced midfielders Gavi and Pedri will be the heart of this Spain team. They will both be looking to have very influential tournaments. They will both be making their World Cup debuts.
The headlines surrounding the Spanish national team heading into the World Cup come from absentees. Luis Enrique has left out two top Premier League players: David de Gea and Thiago Alcantara. This decision has astounded those who keep up with the English game as they have both been in fine form this season.
The decision on de Gea seems to be a tactical one, the United shot stopper isn’t a modern day keeper. He lacks the ability of younger keepers to play from the back. Erik ten Hag has improved this at United but Enrique still opted for Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez and David Raya.
Thiago Alcantara has clearly fallen down the pecking order, but Spain’s midfield options still look very strong:
- Sergio Busquets
- Carlos Soler
- Marcos Llorente
Like Germany, they have an incredible balance of youth and experience. 2010 winner Sergio Busquets makes the squad once again, but his influence will likely come from the dressing room as Manchester City’s Rodri will likely start.
Spain are the overwhelming favourites to win but you can never write off Costa Rica. Back in 2014 you’ll remember that Costa Rica topped their group that consisted of England, Italy and Uruguay. Then going on to beat Greece in the last 16. It was one of those classic World Cup underdog stories and they’ll be hoping to repeat it.
Spain vs Costa Rica Picks
We can see this one going Spain’s way but if you fancy backing the underdog, we suggest making use of 888sport’s scorecast section to produce some fantastic matchday 1 odds. Celso Borges and a 1-0 Costa Rica victory is 104/1!
Our Spain pick is another scorecast. Closer to the time, bet builders will be viable, but for the time being these scorecasts are excellent. We have gone for a 2-0 Spain win with Alvaro Morata scoring. This is 13/1!
As usual, let us know your picks over at the TVG Facebook page and stay tuned for more World Cup odds!
Author: Jude Sutcliffe