The World Cup drama continues in the knockout stages, and we are looking to give you the most accurate Japan v Croatia prediction for December 5th, 2022. Japan has been among the biggest sensations in this World Cup already producing two of the biggest shocks ever – comeback wins against none other than Germany and Spain! Meanwhile, Croatia might in fact be even better than their side that went all the way to the Final in the previous World Cup in Russia. So we have a really interesting clash between Asia and Europe between two sides that have made a positive impression both fans and experts thus far. Who is going home, and who is going to progress to the next round? Let’s find out.
The Samurai Are On A Mission
After their stunning wins against the traditional European powerhouses Germany and Spain, no one should question right now whether this Japan team is for real. Even before the World Cup started, the betting experts were tipping Japan to do well in this tournament. But in a group with Germany and Spain, few actually expected they would go through. Yet, the Samurai exceeded everyone’s expectations and actually finished first in that Group E. They have a lot of players that earn their trade in the European’s top leagues.
Going into this Japan v Croatia prediction, the Asian side has several important factors going their way. Firstly, Japanese people (in general) are very well organized, they are great at following instructions (game plan) and there are no egos. It’s just pure team work. But then you add to all that the fact that their players are now quite skillful, fast, and with plenty of stamina. And on top of all that, they have shown they are resilient, they don’t give up, and have great mentality. All in all, despite being tipped as favorites, it won’t be easy for Croatia to eliminate them.
Here is what Croatia’s head coach Zlatko Dalić had to say about Japan and that’s a huge tip for today’s top betting prediction:
If a team wins against Spain and Germany 2-1, especially considering they were down one nil in the early stages in both games. They managed to come back with that mentality, character and energy to win the game. They definitely shouldn’t be underestimated. I think this will be a tough match for both teams. When Spain scored the opening goal, I thought Japan were finished, but they never gave up and deserved their victory. The fact that Germany, Belgium and Denmark have all been eliminated illustrates just how strong other teams have been at this World Cup. In the past, I might have picked Japan as an opponent that we would want to play, but they have defeated both Germany and Spain. This certainly will not be an easy game for us.”Zlatko Dalić, Croatia’s head coach for FIFA.com
Croatia Looking To Reach A Third World Cup Quarter-Final
Obviously, we can’t complete our top betting prediction for today without analyzing both teams. Croatia could consider themselves a bit lucky to have qualified for the elimination phase after their goalless draw against Belgium. That was in fact their second goalless draw in the three group matches they played, so they haven’t been exactly firing. Yes, they scored four against Canada, but despite the good impression they made, the North Americans can’t be considered an elite team just yet.
Focusing on our Japan v Croatia prediction, it has to be said that the Croats rode their luck against Belgium in their last game. If Lukaku had scored at least one of the four golden opportunities that he had, Croatia would have been eliminated in the group stage. They didn’t do much offensively against Belgium, they played with a lot of fear, and they were plain lucky not to have lost that game. They really need to pick themselves up for this game, because I doubt they will be so lucky two games in a row.
Japan v Croatia Team News
Japan will be missing on their best defenders – the infulential center back Kou Itakura who received his second yellow card against Spain. That’s a major setback for the Asian side. Croatia one the other hand have no injury issues to report.
Expected Starting Lineups
Japan: Shuichi Gonda; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Maya Yoshida, Shogo Taniguchi, Yuto Nagatomo; Junya Ito, Wataru Endo, Hidemasa Morita, Takefusa Kubo, Daichi Kamada, Takuma Asano
Croatia: Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic, Marko Livaja
Japan v Croatia Betting Odds Review
The bookies are seriously underestimating Japan in this game, which could bite them big time. The decimal odds on Japan to win in regular time are 4.00, and that’s real value for you. A win for Croatia could double your money at 2.00. The teams are quite even, so the draw at about 3.25 is also a good bet. Another value pick is to bet on Japan to quality at 2.62. Goals are not expected all that much as the line of Over 2.5 goals pays off at the odds of 2.20.
Japan v Croatia Prediction
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Both Teams to Score @ 2.00 ✅
*Final Score: 1-1