The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and football fans across the world could not be more excited.
Although it's a bit different with the tournament being held in the middle of a season, the stakes are as high as ever as 32 countries battle it out to be world champions.
With the tournament getting so close now - here are the predictions for Group A.
Key player/s: Rodri, Pedri
Arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world, Rodri is a defensive beast that possesses an incredible range of passing as well as the ability to score goals. He is everything you need in a defensive midfielder and with Busquets reaching the end of his career, Rodri is the perfect replacement.
Then we have arguably the best young midfielder in the world, golden boy Pedri. The technician has a unique set of skills and has a release clause of over one billion Euros with Barcelona. He can do it all - open up defences with terrific passes, dribble past players easily, as well as defend and score. The new look Spain midfield compared to 2018 could be the best at this year's World Cup.
Player to watch: Nico Williams
Nico Williams has been in fine form for Bilbao this season and is proving himself as Spain's most promising young attacker. Williams has 7 G/A in just 14 games this season, starting in 13 of them.
The 20-year-old has been playing on the right-wing this season and is lightning quick, good with both feet and extremely skilful. Spain manager Luis Enrique has been using a 4-3-3 formation recently so it's quite possible the young attacker will feature regularly at the World Cup.
Prediction: Group Winners
This is quite a tough group but Spain are definitely strong enough to get out of it. They may lack a clinical striker, but there is more than enough quality across the rest of the pitch for them to top the group and advance to the next stage.
Key player/s: Keylor Navas
Having risen to fame after a brilliant 2014 World Cup campaign, Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas has gone on to play many games and produce many top performances at both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in the last eight years. His incredible shot stopping ability and leadership is one of the main reasons they are in this edition of the World Cup, and will be key for them in a really tough group.
Player to watch: Jewison Bennette
18-year-old winger Jewison Bennette is one of Costa Rica's most exciting young talents and he has featured for over 200 minutes for Sunderland in the English Championship this season.
Bennette already has seven caps for his country, scoring twice. He is a brilliant one-on-one
dribbler that isn't afraid to take defenders on with his pace. The young forward now has a chance to show he is Costa Rica's next-best thing
Prediction: Last in Group
Unfortunately for Costa Rica they aren't making it out of the group stage this year. Group E is very tough and they are comfortably the weakest side and won't be taking a point from anyone.
Key player/s: Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich is this generation's Phillip Lahm, he is that good. The versatile CDM has now played over 70 games for his country, playing with brilliant finesse and composure almost every time. Kimmich is a beautiful passer of the football and has an insane work rate, he is vital to this German team.
Player to watch: Jamal Musiala
One of the most exciting wonderkids in the sport. Jamal Musiala is a very skilful attacking midfielder whose playing style replicates a young Dele Alli. The 19-year-old has 14 G/A in 13 games for German champions Bayern Munich this season, and has tremendous goal scoring ability. He will be regularly involved with Germany at this World Cup and may even be the #1 playmaker in the team.
Prediction: 3rd in Group
Germany's form has been far from incredible in recent times, only winning one of their last seven International matches. I think it isn't going to get better either, and this group will have a big upset with Germany bowing out in the group stages. The team has recently not gelled well at all and the squad that Hansi Flick has chosen just has no real X Factor to win them games when they need it. A disappointing World Cup campaign is inbound for Germany.
Key player/s: Daichi Kamada, Takehiro Tomiyasu
Attacking midfielder Daichi Kamada has been in career-best form for Eintracht Frankfurt this season and will be a lethal threat for Japan in the World Cup. He has 11 G/A in 12 league games for the German club this year and has also played in all Champions League group stage matches as he and the club advanced to the knockout stages. Kamada is full of quality and will be very dangerous for Japan.
Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has played almost every defensive position for Arsenal since he joined, but has recently found himself at left-full back. In this time, he has locked down attackers such as Mohamed Salah, Luis Sinesterra and Antony. He is exceptional whenever he plays for club and country and is key to Japan's chances at progressing through the group stages.
Player to watch: Takefusa Kubo
Japanese wunderkind Takefusa Kubo has been playing quite well recently for Real Sociedad in the Spanish top flight and is in his best ever form, leading up to a World Cup of course. The 21-year-old winger spent three years out on loan from Real Madrid before being sold to Sociedad for eight million Euros. Since signing, he has made 12 league appearances for the club, scoring twice and assisting twice. He is a big threat for defenders at this World Cup.
Prediction: 2nd in Group
I believe this Japanese squad is very strong and will be able to knock Germany out in the group stages. They have some lethal players in attack as well as a very experienced and composed defence that is full of quality. They are a team full of quality, passion, and spirit and that makes them a very dangerous team to play against in Qatar.
Match Day Picks
Germany 1-2 Japan
Spain 2-0 Costa Rica
Japan 3-1 Costa Rica
Spain 1-0 Germany
Japan 1-2 Spain
Costa Rica 0-2 Germany
W D L P
- Spain 3 0 0 9
- Japan 2 0 1 6
- Germany 1 0 2 3
- Costa Rica 0 0 3 0