Today’s Predictions: Japan vs Senegal

Japan 2 -2 Senegal

Japan vs Senegal

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The 31st match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place between Senegal and Japan.

  • Date : 24th June 2018
  • Time 8:30 PM (IST)
  • Venue : Ekaterinburg Stadium  

Both these teams have caused big upsets by winning their respective opening matches, and now both would be keen to confirm qualification to the next round with 3 priceless points in this match.

FIFA World Cup Qualification

 
Senegal, inspired by the talismanic Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, comfortably topped their group as well, scoring 2 goals or more in almost all their matches. They were unbeaten in their group with 4 wins, including a crucial sealer against South Africa. They scored 10 goals and their qualification never looked in any doubt.

Japan cruised past their initial qualifying group, winning all their games after drawing the first one 0-0 with Singapore. In the third round, they faced a huge hiccup as UAE beat them at home, however they recovered and earned a huge win over Saudi Arabia also, before a huge 2-0 win over Australia (their first win over them in 8 attempts), secured automatic qualification for them.

Team Form

Senegal have endured a poor run of form after their qualifiers, with a defeat to Croatia and draws against Uzbekistan, Luxembourg and Bosnia. However, they turned that around with a professional 2-0 victory over fellow World Cup challengers South Korea, to prove they are in good shape for this tournament.

Japan have endured a miserable run of form of late, with 4 defeats in their last 6 matches. The only shining light is that they comprehensively defeated Paraguay 4-2 in their most recent fixture. A 1-1 draw to Mali aside, they have sufferance consecutive defeats to Belgium, Switzerland, Ghana and Ukraine, scoring just 1 goal in those 4 matches, while conceding 7, which is a huge cause of worry for their fans.

 

Japan and Senegal in the World Cup So Far

Senegal surprised the world with a power packed performance that left Poland feeling clueless and shocked. Their players dominated the game with their pace and stamina, while the Polish midfielders were being outrun embarrassingly.

Japan caused a huge upset of their own with a massive win against the much-fancied Colombia. Japan got a penalty very early on in the game, with Colombia’s Sanchez also getting sent off for a deliberate handball, giving Japan a very important numerical advantage. They kept their nerves and eventually won the game 2-1.

Head To Head Record

These two nations have never met before.  

Team News

One of Senegal’s big names with Premier League experience, Mame Baram Diouf was not called up after missing several games due to injury recently. Mbaye Niang has now won 3 caps for the Senegal national team and is fully eligible to play for them despite turning out for Franc U-21s earlier.

Japan’s biggest worry in recent times has been the fitness of their inspirational captain Makoto Hasebe, who spent the entire 2017/18 season out with injury, however, he has been declared fit for this tournament. Several youngsters, such as Takuma Asano and Yuya Kubo will be making their debuts at the World Cup.

Players To Watch Out For

Senegal’s star man is unsurprisingly Sadio Mane, with the Liverpool forward back of a brilliant performance in the Champions League final, after he was forced to take charge of the attack as Mohammed Salah’s walked off injured. One of the best players to emerge out of the continent in recent times, Mane can change a game single handedly and is an explosive player. Napoli’s much sought after defender Koilibaly is also a huge star, and keeps Senegal rock solid at the back.

For Japan, veteran goalkeeper Kawashima is back as the first choice keeper, while other stalwarts like Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa are still around to carry their nation forward with their experience. Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki is their best hope in attack, while Southampton’s Maya Yoshida is a rock at the back.

Senegal Vs Japan Betting Odds And Key Statistics

  • Japan’s first ever world cup was as recently as 1998. They have never made it beyond the round of 16, and failed to qualify from their group at the 2014 World Cup.
  • Senegal are favourites for this clash, however the Japanese are also full of confidence and won’t make it easy for the Africans. We recommend betting on both teams to score as well as there being more than 2.5 goals in this game.
  • This is just Senegal’s second appearance at the FIFA World Cup, with their previous one being that magical quarter final run in 2002 when they shocked the world by knocking out defending champions France, and scoring 7 goals in the tournament.

Predicted Result

Japan are ranked 60th in the world, much below their opponents, and haven’t been in the greatest of forms coming into this tournament. However, a confidence boosting win in the first match should see them put up a good fight with the impressive Senegal, who seem at the top of their game. We still expect the Africans to win this game with a narrow margin.

Predicted Scoreline : Senegal 2-1 Japan.

 

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