Japan take on Poland knowing they only need a point to guarantee their qualification to the last 16 against their already eliminated opponents. The Japanese have been the shock side of Group H, securing an opening game win against Colombia and taking a point from Japan to leave themselves in a fantastic position. Whilst they’ve not been amazing, they’ve impressed with their organisation, ability to keep the ball and overall play.
For Poland, Russia has been a disaster. The European side were comfortably beaten in both games, with the side failing to get Robert Lewandowski in the game and the absence of the injured Kamil Glik was huge. They haven’t created chances, have been weak at the back and few will emerge from the tournament with any credit.
Here we will give you Japan vs Poland betting tips, look at where the game will be won, the key players and a Japan vs Poland prediction for the Group H encounter.
Our Japan vs Poland Prediction: Japan 1-1 Poland
Our Japan vs Poland prediction tips is for a tight, close game that will see the sides share the points, enough for the Asian side to progress.
Japan entered the tournament with few thinking they could do anything. Warm-up results were poor, there had been a late manager switch and many felt they would make up the numbers in this group but they’ve emphatically proven them wrong. They still need a point to finish the job but the side look in a good position to take advantage of Poland’s woes.
Despite having nothing to play for in terms of the group, Poland will want to restore some pride and player for player they are better than the Japanese so this won’t be an easy game for them at all. However, they need to show a fight and determination that has been missing so far if they are to avoid ending the tournament pointless.
Our recommended tip – BTTS
Even though they’re top of the group, Japan haven’t convinced and defensively have looked susceptible in both games, conceding on both occasions.
So, with Poland having Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik as options up front, you can expect them to get chances and ultimately score against Japan. Yet, the leaders have looked good going forward and will fancy themselves to notch against Polish defence that has been schoolboy at times in Russia. With the European side having nothing to play for, so they could be pressure free, and both sides having questionable defences, BTTS looks a safe play for punters.
The clash in Volgograd will be the third fixture between the two nations and Japan will be seeking a third win against the European side.
As for their form, Japan approach this in good spirits, impressing tactically and technically in their two games. All the sides in Group H boast different styles and the Japanese have adapted well. They are all comfortable on the ball and they have quality in attacking midfield areas that gives the side that cutting edge.
Meanwhile, Poland have fallen apart. The manager is unsure on his best formation, changing from a back four and a three, with neither working. Piotr Zielinski hasn’t got on the ball enough in midfield, with Lewandowski suffering as a result. At their best over the years Poland were a fast, attacking side that had real quality in the final third but they look a yard off the pace in Russia.
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Players to watch – Maya Yoshida & Robert Lewandowski
As Japan only need a draw to qualify, they could be more conservative and one man key to their defensive structure and shape is Southampton’s Yoshida. He will have his hands full against Lewandowski and stopping him will be crucial to the Asian side getting the point they need to progress.
For Poland, it’s about ending on a high and restoring some pride and the Bayern Munich man will be central to that. From a personal perspective he will be eager to score at the World Cup and show his undoubted quality and what could be his potentially last match at this level.