In a World Cup full of upsets and odd results, Japan finds itself in the Round of 16 despite being drawn into one of the toughest groups of the tournament.
Japan has been one of the most surprising teams in the tournament and now has a real chance to advance to the quarterfinals after Monday’s match against Croatia. The country has received the majority of its scoring from winger Ritsu Dōan, who has two of the four goals scored by Japan in the tournament, including the equalizer en route to defeating Spain in his last game.
The East Asian side has greatly struggled with possession this tournament, which could be significant against Croatia’s strong midfield.
Croatia, who was expected to qualify out of Group F, needed a draw against Belgium to secure its spot in the Round of 16. Midfielder Luka Modrić, who recently turned 37, has proven that he is still one of the premier players in the world so far in this tournament and could be leading his team to another appearance in the World Cup Final.
Croatia’s defense has been stout thus far, conceding just one goal, and should cause problems for Japan in this match.
The match is set to take place Monday, Dec. 5, at Al Janoub Stadium.
Japan vs Croatia Odds
- 3-way handicap: Japan (+275) | Draw (+220) | Croatia (+107)
- Draw No Bet: Japan (+165) |Croatia (-210)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 ( +130) | Under 2.5 (-170)
- Both Teams to Score: Yes (+105) | No (-135)
Japan vs Croatia odds are current as of noon ET on Friday, Dec. 2, at Caesars Sportsbook.
Japan is gaining the respect of oddsmakers after upsetting both Spain and Germany in the group stage. Even so, Croatia is being given a slight advantage to prove victorious, and with good reason.
Neither team have put up large goal totals in any of their first three matches, and you can expect to see that trend continue. The Under, as well as Both Teams to Score: No, appear like the most likely occurrences in this match.
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Japan vs Croatia Predictions
Japan 0-1 Croatia
Both Japan and Croatia have had several tight and low-scoring affairs in the tournament, and this match should not be any different.
Croatia is being given a slight edge due to the raw talent, but also experience that the team employs. Head coach Zlatko Dalić and his squad have been a part of a number of big games, including, of course, the 2018 World Cup Final, which saw his side lose to France.
Similar to that tournament, Croatia seems to be slept on in terms of teams who are expected to make it to the end, but they are proving to the world they still are capable of defying the odds.
Japan will be exiting in the Round of 16 for the second straight tournament, but not after some significant victories. No one expected to see Hajime Moriyasu’s squad still alive after the first three games, yet here they are.
While Japan has been able to pull off some insane results thus far, Croatia, which plays very technical and safe, will have their number. Japan could have one more surprise left in them, but it would take some legendary performances to see it come to fruition.
Japan vs Croatia Betting Tips
- Japan struggled with possession in the group stage, averaging just 34% in the three games.
- Japan has scored in bunches, with all four goals they’ve scored coming within 11 minutes of each other.
- All of Japan’s goals have come in the second halves of their games.
- Croatia’s group stage consisted of two 0-0 games, with the team scoring all four goals against Canada.
- Croatia is one of five teams in the Round of 16 with one or fewer goals conceded.
- Andrej Kramarić leads the team with two goals.
- Croatia averaged 52% possession in the group stage.
Japan vs Croatia Best Bet
➕ Multiple Correct Score: 0:1, 0:2, or 0:3 (+220) at BetMGM Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
Betting the Multiple Correct Score appears as one of the best bang for your buck options in this match. Neither team is well known for a strong attack and Croatia’s defense has been slightly stronger in the tournament.
Croatia will likely find a goal at some point in this match, then result to sound, possession football as they did in their draws in the group stage. This match should not see many goals for either side.