Group E of the 2022 Qatar World Cup is about to enter the last stage with matchups that will define the two teams to qualify for the round of 16. Spain and Japan will face each other for a direct ticket to the next round.
A defeat condemns the Spaniards, and a tie mathematically moves them to the next round. As the head of the group, Spain has the highest possibility of qualifying with the least effort.
On the other hand, the Japanese need to win to secure the pass or a draw and then wait to see what happens between Costa Rica and Germany. The Japanese beat Germany in their first game with a heroic comeback. They went to the break behind 1-0 and under constant pressure.
In the second half, Japan went all out and turned the score upside down. This is what Japan is expecting to bring today when they face their second European rival after a 1-0 loss against Costa Rica.
Leading the group standings does not guarantee anything, and Luis Enrique, Spain’s head coach, understands this. In this situation, Spain depends on itself to make it to the round of 16, which starts next Saturday.
The draw against Germany prevented Spain from qualifying directly and almost mathematically eliminated the Germans. On the same day, Costa Rica beat Japan, which left the group heated.
Spain leads it with four points, Japan is now second with three, and Costa Rica is tied with Japan in points but has a negative goal balance. Finally, Germany is at the bottom of the group with just a single point. For Spain, this scenario is ideal to pull a solid win this afternoon and make it to the next round.
Hajime Moriyasu leads a Japanese lineup that has struck the World Cup with awe and surprise. After a 2-1 victory against Germany, Japan became the team to look for as the second-best in Group E.
However, the recognition ceased when Japan fell against Costa Rica 1-0 in their last game. Now it’s time for Japan to step it up as they did against Germany and bring a similar strategy that allows them to advance to the next stage.
As the results go, a win gets Japan into the next round without an issue. However, in case of a tie, Japan would need the other match between Costa Rica and Germany to end in a tie. If they lose to Spain, they are eliminated, no matter what happens in the other game. The group is entirely open to possibilities.
Japan is ready to surprise its second European rival in the group stage. For Japan, the total has hit under in six of their last seven games. As for Spain, the total has also hit under in four of their previous five games.
A draw is worth it for the Spaniards to meet the objective of making it to the round of 16, but the players and Luis Enrique have already made it clear that they are not speculating and will go out to win.
For Spain’s coach, not even Sergio Busquets will rest after being threatened to sit for a game due to yellow cards. Despite the effort, Japan might be able to deliver on the pitch, but it seems as if Spain is ready to hold tight to its reputation and make it to the next round.
Godds Pick/Prediction: Spain wins, and the under hits.