DFB captain Manuel Neuer (36) is in the spotlight in the match against Japan even before kick-off.
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Germany vs Japan in the live ticker: The DFB team is going into the 2022 World Cup with this starting XI!

By Florian Mentele

Qatar – It’s getting serious for them today German national team! To start the World Cup 2022 the DFB team meets Japan in the first game of Group E at 2 p.m.

DFB captain Manuel Neuer (36) is in the spotlight in the match against Japan even before kick-off. © Federico Gambarini/dpa

The run-up to the first game with German participation in the controversial winter tournament in Qatar was primarily determined by the discussion about wearing the “One Love” captain’s armband as a sign of diversity.

After threats of sanctions from FIFA, the DFB backed down, but is considering legal action against the world association. Numerous politicians, celebrities and sports greats have now commented on the subject, which is why the question remains: Will Captain Manuel Neuer (36) appear against Japan with the colorful bandage?

Away from the background noise, national coach Hansi Flick (57) has to do without Leroy Sané (26), who is missing with knee problems, in the encounter at the Khalifa International Stadium in the city of ar-Rayyan west of Doha.

Does the goalkeeper with the original German name make the national team despair today?
World Cup 2022
Does the goalkeeper with the original German name make the national team despair today?

You can read all the information, goals and game events relating to the first World Cup match between the German team in our large DAY24-Live ticker.

1:54 p.m.: Players from both teams run in. Manuel Neuer leads the DFB selection as captain onto the field at the Khalifa International Stadium.

1:51 p.m .: TV expert Bastian Schweinsteiger bets on Germany victory

ARD expert and ex-national player Bastian Schweinsteiger predicted a 3-1 victory for the DFB team before the start of the World Cup match against Japan.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) and Esther Sedlaczek cover the Germany game on ARD.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) and Esther Sedlaczek cover the Germany game on ARD. © Tom Weller/dpa

1:47 p.m .: TV reporter railed against FIFA after the flick interview burst

“In my 25 years as a reporter, I’ve never experienced such chaos,” MagentaTV journalist Thomas Wagner said shortly before the kick-off of the German national team’s World Cup opening game against Japan.

Actually, a short appointment with Flick was discussed with the DFB media department, then a representative of FIFA intervened at short notice. “That’s remarkable,” said Wagner.

A MagentaTV interview with Hansi Flick (r.) burst just before the game against Japan kicked off.

A MagentaTV interview with Hansi Flick (r.) burst just before the game against Japan kicked off. © Christian Charisius/dpa

1:34 p.m .: Hansi Flick does not want to run into the open knife

“Of course we rely on a good remaining defense,” said the national coach before the game to ARD.

“We had good test units, we had good training content in the last few days,” continued the 57-year-old. “We have exactly what we want in terms of play structure.”

The DFB coach also commented in detail on the offensive line-up: “Kai Havertz is at the front, Thomas is on the ten. Serge and Jamal play on the outside.”

1:25 p.m .: Referee of the World Cup match between Germany and Japan

Ivan Barton from El Salvador will officiate the first match of the DFB-Elf.

The 31-year-old referee will be supported by his assistants David Moran (El Salvador) and Zachari Zeegelaar (Suriname). Fourth official is Said Martinez (Honduras).

Ivan Barton (left) whistles the World Cup match between Germany and Japan.

Ivan Barton (left) whistles the World Cup game between Germany and Japan. © DANIEL LEAL / AFP

1:16 p.m. How many German fans are in the stadium?

The DFB team can also hope for loud support on site at the Khalifa International Stadium.

“It should be 1000,” said a policeman who had traveled with him from the ARD sports show. An employee of the German embassy even expects 12,000 to 15,000 followers.

1:06 p.m .: First competitive game of the DFB selection against Japan

The German national team meets Japan for the first time in a competitive game. So far, the two teams have only faced each other in friendlies.

In 2006 there was a 2-2 draw, in 2004 the DFB team won 3-0.

1:02 p.m .: Japan’s initial formation for the match against Germany

With a total of eight Bundesliga professionals, the “Samurai Blue” have taken most of the players from the local upper house to Qatar with them after Germany.

A particular focus should be Daichi Kamada from Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Düsseldorf) and Wataru Endo (VfB Stuttgart).

With Takuma Asano (VfL Bochum), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart) and Ritsu Doan (SC Freiburg), three other Bundesliga players are on the bench.

12.42 p.m .: Starting line-up of the German national team for the World Cup game against Japan

This is how the DFB team starts the first group game against the Japanese selection.

Bayern colleague Jamal Musiala comes on the wing for the injured Leroy Sané, but Thomas Müller can play in the tenth position. Ilkay Gündogan and Joshua Kimmich form the double six, Nico Schlotterbeck starts in central defense alongside Antonio Rüdiger, while Niklas Süle is used in a rather unusual role as right-back. Kai Havertz also starts in the storm center.

10.54 a.m .: Alternative protest action after the One Love bandage?

DFB director Oliver Bierhoff announced on Wednesday morning on ARD that the German national team would protest before the game against Japan.

“We’ll see. In any case, the players were concerned,” said the 54-year-old when asked whether the DFB players had planned an alternative protest – such as the Englishman’s kneeling.

He said of the game: “Of course it’s important. We saw how things went with the Argentines. That’s why I felt in the players how they wanted to shape this game today.”

While Oliver Bierhoff did not provide a definitive answer, the players have been engaged in protest actions.

While Oliver Bierhoff did not provide a definitive answer, the players have been engaged in protest actions. © Federico Gambarini/dpa

10.20 a.m .: Bundesliga professional Maya Yoshida sees many parallels between Japan and Germany

FC Schalke 04 centre-back Maya Yoshida explained ahead of the game against the side of his adopted country that there are numerous similarities between the two cultures.

“The mentality of the Germans and the Japanese does indeed have certain similarities. Both populations are very serious and punctual, they work hard and never laugh,” said the 34-year-old defender of the FAZ.

“It’s pretty easy for the Japanese to settle down in Germany, unlike in Italy, for example, where people are always dreaming.”

Japan captain Maya Yoshida (left) has been playing for FC Schalke 04 in Germany since the summer.

Japan captain Maya Yoshida (left) has been playing for FC Schalke 04 in Germany since the summer. © CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

10.10 a.m .: Who will replace Leroy Sané?

Leroy Sané will miss the opening match of the German national team in Qatar.

Leroy Sané will miss the opening match of the German national team in Qatar. © Christian Charisius/dpa

National coach Hansi Flick has to compensate for Leroy Sané’s absence against Japan.

The winger’s injury was “bitter, because he is a difference player and can turn a game on his own with his qualities,” explained the 57-year-old before the game.

Colleague Joshua Kimmich also agreed: “It’s extremely bitter that Leroy is out. He was in really good shape. With his speed and goal threat, he’s someone who hurts every opponent and is good for us. I hope he’ll get back to us quickly can help.”

Cover photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP

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