Japan v Spain: Spain to keep it simple
Japan v Spain betting odds, tips and predictions
Spain have been one of the most impressive teams at World Cup 2022 but still have work to do to guarantee their place in the knockout stage.
They are not expected to have any trouble claiming top spot in Group E but Japan will be highly motivated knowing a defeat will mean they are eliminated.
Thursday’s match at the Khalifa International Stadium kicks off at 7pm and is live on ITV.
Enrique still satisfied
Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in their World Cup opener, but Sunday’s meeting with Group E rivals Germany was a much closer affair.
For 62 minutes it appeared as though the match could be headed towards the sixth goalless draw of the tournament before Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock.
But four-time World Cup winners Germany, coming off a shock 2-1 loss to Japan, were able to keep their campaign alive – and the group open – when Niclas Fullkrug netted an 83rd-minute equaliser.
“I think we weren’t as fresh and accurate,” said Spain boss Luis Enrique.
“We didn’t play with that much fluidity but then we scored a goal with a great finish from Morata. They had to win and it was a very open match in both boxes and we weren’t as accurate as we needed to be.
“We had to play with more composure. If we start playing different styles the transitions become harder.
“It is a pity, the result, but we have to be happy because we are leaders in this group of death. When the draw came out everyone was surprised by the challenging teams in the same result.”
Unfortunately for the Samurai Blue, that was followed by a 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica and Japan have drifted to 4/1 to qualify in the World Cup Group E odds despite having their destiny in their own hands.
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu said: “Spain is a strong team. However, from the beginning we were thinking from three matches, we would try to advance, so we will just go for good preparation for a good match for next time.”
The best hope for Japan was that Spain would have nothing to play for by now but the fact they are bidding to win the group means Enrique’s men to be leading at both half-time and full-time at 23/20 is the first of our Japan v Spain betting tips.
Morata to make the difference again
The biggest issue for Spain heading into the World Cup was expected to be a shortage of goals so hitting Costa Rica for seven was a major confidence boost.
Spain failed to score more than two goals in a game during the Nations League this year though and they only did so twice in World Cup qualifying.
Morata and Ferran Torres are both Golden Boot contenders with two goals apiece but this is a team that likes to dominate possession without always trying to be too ruthless.
For an even bigger price, Morata to score again in a 1-0 win can be backed at 14/1.
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication