Germany Vs Japan Premier League Football Match 2023
Germany will be looking to exact revenge on Japan when the two nations meet in a friendly at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena on Saturday evening. En route to a second successive group-stage exit, Die Mannschaft suffered a 2-1 defeat against the Samurai Blue at the World Cup in Qatar.
As hosts of Euro 2024, Germany are not required to participate in the qualification process for next summer’s tournament, meaning that Hansi Flick’s side have not played a competitive match since the World Cup.
After losing to Japan in their opening World Cup clash, Die Mannschaft played out a 1-1 draw with Germany before claiming a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica, but they ended up finishing third in Group E – two points shy of Japan.
Consequently, Germany failed to qualify for the World Cup knockout phase for the second tournament in succession, with the four-time champions enduring yet another below-par campaign on the biggest stage of all. The Germans returned to action with a 2-0 win against Peru back in March, but Die Mannschaft have failed to taste victory since then, recording one draw and three losses in four friendlies while failing to score on two occasions.
Following a 3-2 defeat against Belgium, Germany were held to a 3-3 draw by Ukraine before suffering back-to-back losses against Poland and Colombia in June, so Flick and his players will be eager to return to winning ways on Saturday. Meanwhile, Japan gave an excellent account of themselves in Qatar, defeating both Germany and Spain to win Group E against the odds, although they eventually fell to Croatia on penalties in the last 16. Despite seeing just 26% possession while facing a barrage of 26 shots, the Samurai Blue came from behind the beat the Germans 2-1 in Qatar, courtesy of late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano.
Following a 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, Hajime Moriyasu’s side bounced straight back to beat Spain 2-1 in their third group game, coming from behind once again to dispatch La Roja, who registered a whopping 83% possession. Although the Samurai Blue’s World Cup journey ended in the last 16, Moriyasu’s men swiftly rediscovered their best form during the next international break, meaning that Japan enter Saturday’s clash on a run of one loss in four outings.
In June, Japan inflicted a 6-0 thrashing on El Salvador, with six different players finding the back of the net, before crushing Peru 4-1 in their most recent outing, so they will fancy their chances of heaping more misery on Germany this weekend. Thanks to a series of standout performances for Brighton & Hove Albion during the early stages of the season, Pascal Gross has been called up to the Germany squad for the very first time, joining uncapped goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Niclas Fullkrug, the top scorer in the Bundesliga last term, has withdrawn from the squad due to a minor injury, with 121-cap veteran Thomas Muller coming in to replace Borussia Dortmund’s new striker. Flick has also called up the youthful trio of Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala and Kevin Schade, leaving big-name players like Marco Reus, Timo Werner, Mario Gotze and Leon Goretzka out of the squad.
As for Japan, Premier League stars Kaoru Mitoma, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Wataru Endo look set to feature in the starting XI on Saturday, while Celtic pair Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda could get the nod in attack. Interestingly, five members of Japan’s squad play their club football in Germany, including Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ko Itakura, Freiburg’s Ritsu Doan and Stuttgart’s Hiroki Ito.