Sunday, January 29, 2023

Prediction: Japan vs Croatia

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions 4 Dec 2022


Prediction: Draw

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

The FIFA World Cup has officially concluded its group stage as the knockouts get underway this weekend. A whole host of countries are expected to shine with the lights on bright but, in reality, this is where pressure and quality collide in the most extraordinary of ways. Today, we’re going to take a look at what should be a fascinating clash of styles between underdogs Japan and Croatia.


Japan have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament thus far with wins over Germany and Spain, which very few could’ve predicted in the lead-up to Qatar. They’ve got talent to go alongside their heart and tenacity which, in a lot of ways, has actually made them favourites for this one. They won’t give up without a fight and the spirit of their exploits in 2002, so far, lives on.

Team News

Itakura is suspended for this one after picking up two yellow cards but aside from that, Japan have a fully fit squad.


The 2018 finalists have made their way into the last 16 – just. They came out of a group that was always going to be tough which leaves us to wonder just how much they’ve got left in the tank. The answer, more than likely, is quite a bit. They have many veterans who are ready for their last ride and if they can edge past the Japanese, they’ll fancy their chances at springing a few more surprises.

Team News

There are no fresh injury or suspension concerns for Croatia heading into this clash.

Factors to Consider

  • The winner of this game will play the winner of Brazil vs South Korea.
  • Japan have won two and lost one of their games so far.
  • Croatia have won one and drawn two of their games so far.
  • Japan have scored four goals and conceded three so far at the World Cup.
  • Croatia have scored four goals and conceded one so far at the World Cup.


This is going to be a nervy one, we anticipate, likely with few chances and a whole lot of battles in the middle of the park. We expect to see Croatia look strong coming out of the gate before the Japanese slowly begin to put their own stamp on the game. It’s going to be a real war of attrition with it coming down to the dreaded penalty shootout – ending in Japan winning, and why not, Modric missing the final effort.

Prediction: Draw

Best Odds: 11/5

Bookmaker: 888sport


Harry Kettle

Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.



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