Welcome to Germany vs Japan
Germany kick off their World Cup 2022 Group E campaign against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium this afternoon.
The pre-World Cup talk regarding the Germany camp was unsurprisingly focused on Marco Reus, who suffered yet another cruel injury blow to rule him out of the World Cup.
Reus has now missed Euro 2016, Euro 2020, the triumphant 2014 World Cup tournament and this year’s showpiece in Qatar through injury.
However, Germany are expected to be working with a fully-fit squad for the opening matchday barring knee victim Leroy Sane, with striker Niclas Fullkrug back from illness and the duo of Thomas Muller and Antonio Rudiger also returning to training over the weekend.
As for Japan, Karou Mitoma and Wataru Endo have overcome illness and a head injury respectively to make themselves available, while Sporting Lisbon midfielder Hidemasa Morita is back from a calf problem and could be fit enough to start.
Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu was rested against Canada following his recent muscular problem but should be fine to take his place in the team here, most likely alongside 122-cap skipper Maya Yoshida in the heart of defence.
Attacking options are rife within the Samurai Blues ranks for the World Cup, and Takuma Asano’s greater international experience compared to his fellow forwards should work in his favour.