Thursday, October 18, 2018

Prediction: Japan vs Paraguay

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: 888sport

Japan take on Paraguay in their final warm-up friendly ahead of the World Cup on Tuesday night. The Japanese are polishing form for the opening test against Colombia and will look to gain a valuable insight fighting against another South American country.

Japan

With only three days until the ball gets rolling at the World Cup, Japan national side are performing the final preparations before they kick off the Russian campaign next Tuesday. A week before their first match at the World Cup, the Japanese are playing their final prep game at the Stadion Tivoli in Innsbruck.

The Samurai Blue will be hoping to improve their form following a disheartening 2-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland on Friday. Akira Nishino’s men have been far from their best lately, registering three defeats and just one draw in their last four competitive outings. Japan will obviously be looking to bounce back and gain a much-needed morale boost ahead of the Colombia clash. Japan last played Paraguay back in October 2010 when they registered a 1-0 victory but the two sides also met in the summer of the same year, when Paraguay eliminated the Japanese in the Last 16 stage after penalties.

Team News

Japan are expected to field the strongest possible team in the final test ahead of the World Cup.

Former Manchester United winger Shinji Kagawa has rediscovered his fine form at Borussia Dortmund last season and will be the one to watch.

Paraguay

There will be no high stakes involved in the upcoming clash for Paraguay who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. Gustavo Morinigo will surely be keen to try out options and reward his fringe players with a run-in against Japan.

The lack of a competitive edge could prove to be an advantage for Paraguay who have nothing to lose. Having failed to make it into the top 5 of the South American qualifying group after a 1-0 loss to Venezuela on the final day of the campaign, Paraguay are now attempting to rebuild their form and morale. They head into the Japan test on the back of a March defeat against the USA and face a daunting task of lifting their spirits up. Los Guaranies are a defensively tight unit which boasts a rock-solid record usually coming off as a very tough nut to crack. We’re sure Japan will have plenty of problems breaking them despite their most recent problems.

Team News

The 40-year-old goalkeeper Justo Villar is set to make his final match after serving the national team for more than 19 years.

A naturalised Paraguay international born in Argentina, Alejandro Romero Gamarra of New York Red Bulls hopes to get a national debut.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Japan are without a win in their last 5 competitive outings
  • The Samurai Blue open their World Cup campaign against Colombia
  • The Japanese only won two of their last 10 games across all competitions
  • Paraguay Lost three of their last four games
  • Los Guaranies failed to keep a clean sheet in eleven of their last 12 matches

Conclusion

Japan are under pressure to turn their form around and record what would be a morale-boosting win ahead of the World Cup. The Samurai Blue are considered favourites against Paraguay who boast a negative record but still are a defensively tight unit that could pose a great threat to the Japanese.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: 888sport

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