The bottom two teams of the “Group of Death" go head-to-head in the second match of the Group Stage as Japan and Costa Rica face off. This Group E matchup takes place on Nov. 27 at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, with kickoff set at 5 a.m. ET.
Japan were the fifth team to qualify from the AFC, as they were third-round Group B runners-up. Costa Rica had a much tougher time, becoming the final team to qualify for the World Cup. They beat New Zealand 1-0 in an inter-confederation CONCACAF vs OFC playoff.
With both Spain and Germany expected to make it out of Group E and into the Round of 16, a win here is vital for both sides to even have a chance of qualifying out of the group stage.
Japan vs Costa Rica Odds
- 3-way handicap: Japan (-111) | Draw (+235) | Costa Rica (+340)
- Draw No Bet: Japan (-280) | Costa Rica (+210)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (+140) | Under 2.5 (-170)
- Both Teams to Score: Yes (+122) | No (-155)
Japan vs Costa Rica odds are current as of Monday, Oct. 31, at 3 p.m. ET on Caesars Sportsbook.
The Samurai Blue are the favorites against Los Ticos, but oddsmakers could also see this match ending in a draw. The odds for the Over on goals and both teams to score are juiced to plus odds.
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Japan vs Costa Rica Prediction
Japan 2-0 Costa Rica
Manager Hajime Moriyasu has done an excellent job since taking over the role in 2018, becoming the manager with the most wins in Japan with 39 and a 68.42% winning percentage. 2022 has been a good year for the Samurai Blue, as they have an 8-3-2 record and most recently won the 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship.
Japan’s strongest part of their game is their defense, with defenders Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo, and Hiroki Sakai coming into the World Cup with a combined 329 caps, and goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with 95 caps. Japan has held opponents scoreless in their last five matches and eight times total in 2022.
For Costa Rica, Luis Fernando Suárez took over in late 2021 and has compiled a 13-5-5 overall record, with Los Ticos picking up steam in 2022, going 8-2-1. Costa Rica has plenty of experience across the board, with 10 players having more than 60 caps.
Joel Campbell and Johan Venegas lead the charge up front, with young star Anthony Contreras playing a significant role in the attack. Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges, and Yeltsin Tejeda are names to watch out for in the midfield. The defense has plenty of experience with Francisco Calvo, Bryan Oviedo, Óscar Duarte, Keysher Fuller, and Kendall Waston. And in net is longtime goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
These two teams last played each other in an International Friendly in 2018, in which Japan won 3-0. Japan is undefeated all-time against Costa Rica with a 4-1-0 record. The undefeated streak will continue when they meet in the Group Stage.
Japan vs Costa Rica Betting Tips
Both sides have had a successful 2022 and should carry momentum into the World Cup. Japan have been a scoring juggernaut this year, having outscored opponents 26-7 in 13 matches. Costa Rica have outscored opponents 14-6 in 11 matches.
Japan vs Costa Rica Best Bets
Japan Win and Under 2.5 Goals (+235) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
While both teams look good heading into the World Cup, Japan has been dominant in 2022. Group E is dubbed the “Group of Death" for a reason, as all four teams are competitive enough to make it out of the Group Stage.
Historically, Japan has had Costa Rica’s number, and in 13 matches for the Samurai Blue this season, the Under has hit eight times. The Under has also hit eight times in 11 matches for Los Ticos.
To Keep A Clean Sheet: Japan (+106) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Units
Costa Rica has scored a low number of goals, with just 14 in 11 matches. However, they’ve been held scoreless just twice in 2022. Japan has done an excellent job keeping the ball out of the back of the net, having eight clean sheets this year.
Japan has deployed five goalies in their eight clean sheet performances, with Shūichi Gonda and Daniel Schmidt combining for the most starts. That trend will continue against Costa Rica, who will struggle to get past Japan’s defenses.