Japan v Spain betting tips: Hosts out to cause another shock
Preview and odds for Tuesday’s Olympics men’s semi-final
The host nation are through to the semi-finals of the men’s Olympics football tournament, and we look at some potential Japan v Spain betting tips.
Japan ended New Zealand’s interest with a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals, while Spain needed extra-time to defeat the Ivory Coast in a classic.
The semi-final clash takes place in the Saitama Stadium on Tuesday and kicks off at 12.00pm BST.
Japan v Spain match odds
Japan beat France, Mexico and South Africa to top Group A and were the only men’s team to win all three games.
However, they are the 27/10 underdogs to beat Spain in 90 minutes and progress to the final on home soil.
The Samurai Warriors showed they had every right to be in the last eight with a 4-0 thrashing of France, who were one of the fancied teams to win gold.
In the quarter-final, Japan beat New Zealand 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
The hosts are now one win away from securing a first medal in men’s football since claiming bronze at the 1968 Games.
Spain have had plenty of challenges and have not quite managed to ignite as many anticipated they would. Their only group success came with a single-goal win over Australia, and they shared draws with Egypt and Argentina.
In terms of Japan v Spain betting tips, a draw after 90 minutes at Saitama Stadium (below) is on offer at 9/4.
Spain needed 120 minutes to negotiate their quarter-final when Rafa Mir was the hat-trick hero as they dispatched Ivory Coast 5-2 in extra-time in the best game of the tournament thus far.
Japan v Spain head-to-head
The sides last met in a friendly last month and the game resulted in a 1-1 draw, with a repeat of that scoreline available at 5/1 in the Japan v Spain odds.
Previously, the sides met at the 2012 London Olympics, where Japan pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory in the group stage at Hampden Park.
It is 6/4 that Japan win in the Draw No Bet market.
Japan v Spain team news
Japan’s Bologna star Takehiro Tomiyasu is suspended but right-back Hiroki Sakai returns from serving his ban and should start.
Dani Ceballos isn’t likely to return for Spain following a nasty ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Oscar Mingueza lasted only 11 minutes on Saturday before going off again.
However, to ease some pressure off La Roja, Oscar Gil returns from his suspension and might take Mingueza’s place. Jesus Vallejo is almost certain to drop to the bench.
Japan v Spain key battles
If Spain are to progress to fight for gold, they will have to shackle Japan’s Takefusa Kubo. The 20-year-old Real Madrid midfielder scored in every game in the group phase.
The Ivorians showcased the Spanish weaknesses at the back, with a goal from a set-piece and one following a failure to close down quickly enough.
It must be remembered that Japan have only conceded one goal so far and it is 5/6 that one or both teams fail to score in the semi-final.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication