One of the final games of Group E features Japan taking on one of the World Cup favorites in Spain. The “Group of Death" matchup takes place on Dec. 1 at Khalifa International Stadium, with kickoff set at 2 p.m. ET.
Japan qualified from the AFC as third-round Group B runners-up, finishing with a 7-1-2 record and only conceding four goals. On the other hand, Spain had no issues qualifying as they won the UEFA Group B with a 6-1-1 record.
Spain are the favorites to win Group E, while Japan are viewed as a dark horse to make it to the Round of 16. With it being the final match before the Round of 16, a win here is crucial.
Japan vs Spain Odds
- 3-way handicap: Spain (-370) | Draw (+430) | Japan (+800)
- Draw No Bet: Spain (-1200) | Japan (+650)
- Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (-164) | Under 2.5 (+116)
- Both Teams to Score: Yes (-110) | No (-116)
Japan vs Spain odds are current as of Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. ET on FanDuel Sportsbook.
It’s no surprise that Spain are favored in this match, as they are also one of the World Cup favorites. Oddsmakers have this match going over the 2.5 goal total.
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Japan vs Spain Prediction
Japan 1-1 Spain
Both teams are very unfamiliar with one another, as the last time Japan and Spain went head-to-head was in 2001 when La Roja took the 1-0 victory. And over 20 years later, these two teams meet again with valuable points on the line.
Japan will have their hands full with Spain’s attack, but luckily for the Samurai Blue, the strongest part of their game is defense. Defenders Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo, and Hiroki Sakai have a combined 10 World Cup appearances, as the trio has 329 caps amongst them. The defense has given up just seven goals in 13 matches in 2022.
As mentioned, Spain’s attack features some of the best players in the world. Japan will have to deal with the likes of Álvaro Morata, Pablo Sarabia, Rodri, Ferran Torres, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Gavi, Carlos Soler, and Koke. However, Spain has not been the dominant force they have been known for, only scoring more than two goals once this year.
This match has the makings for a draw written all over it, as Japan’s defense and Spain’s attack will neutralize one another. Both sides could be fighting for a spot in the Round of 16, so this will be a gritty match from whistle to whistle.
Japan vs Spain Betting Tips
Japan enters the World Cup coming off an EAFF E-1 Football Championship. They have an 8-3-2 record in 2022 and have outscored opponents 26-7 this year. Spain have advanced to the UEFA Nations League Finals and have a 5-2-1 record in 2022, outscoring opponents 15-6.
Japan vs Spain Best Bets
Under 2.5 Goals (+116) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Both Japan and Spain have had a strong defensive year, with Japan giving up seven goals in 13 matches and Spain giving up six goals in 8 matches. This match screams defense, with neither side wanting to concede in the final match of the group stage.
The Under has hit eight times for Japan and four times for Spain in 2022. Both offenses will struggle to get going in this match.
Both Teams to Score: Yes (-110) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Round of 16 will likely be on the line in this match, with only Germany securing their spot up until this point. Goals will matter, and both teams will look to pour it on.
Defense will play a big part and make things tricky on both sides, so Japan and Spain will need to get creative. Eventually, La Roja will find the back of the net, while the Samurai Blue will sneak one in on the counter-attack.