Group H: Japan vs Poland – soccer world cup Preview

Two players compete for ball

Japan will be eying three points when they take on Poland at the Volgograd Arena on Thursday afternoon. 

Japan still have it all to play for after claiming four points from their opening two games. They will know full well that a draw will see them through to the next round.

Poland have endured a miserable finals, losing against both Senegal and Colombia and will be on the plane home after Thursday’s fixture. Nonetheless, they’ll want to leave with at least one win and will fancy their chances against Japan.


Japan vs Poland | Thursday 28 June | Volgograd Arena | 16:00

To Win Match
Japan 15/10
Draw 2/1
Poland 2/1

Japan
Japan are very much in charge of their own destiny heading into their final group game. A win or a draw will see them through. However, a heavy loss against the Poles coupled with a Colombian win over Senegal will see them drop into third place in the standings.

They’ve exceeded expectations in many ways at this tournament with many – myself included – tipping them to fall at the first hurdle. A splendid 2-1 win over Colombia and a 2-2 draw against Senegal mean that the Samurai Blue remain very much in the mix.

It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure of Thursday’s encounter. They certainly showed BMT to come from behind twice to secure a valuable point against Senegal, but may face even stiffer competition from the Poles who will be able to play without any real pressure having already been eliminated from the showpiece event.

Poland
The Poles will have to live with the knowledge that they were the first European nation to be knocked out of the soccer world cup. The finals haven’t been kind to the eastern Europeans over the years. They’ve now suffered first-round elimination in each of the last three tournaments that they’ve taken part in – the others being Korea / Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.

Star striker Robert Lewandowski has been forced to feed off of scraps thus far, receiving very little in the way of meaningful service from his midfielders and wider players. The star man in qualifying has yet to find the back of the net at the finals, something he’ll be desperate to remedy on Thursday.

The teams have only met twice before with the Japanese winning on both occasions. It’s safe to say, however, that on paper the Japanese were a much fiercer unit back then the Poles were significantly weaker.

Verdict: Poland 2/1
The Poles most certainly have a point to prove and will be desperate to bow out of the tournament with a win. They certainly possess more quality within their ranks than their two finals results suggest. They may even thrive with the pressure off – 2/1 is a big price, get on!

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets


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