Spain Vs Japan World Cup 2022: Preview And Prediction

Spain, who is currently atop Group E, will face Japan, who is currently in second place, in a thrilling 2022 World Cup match on Thursday night at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Both countries were unable to earn all three points in their last group match, with La Roja being forced to split the win with Germany and the Blue Samurai losing to Costa Rica.

#1. Match preview

spain vs japan world cup 2022Source: Reuters

Many predicted that Japan would win the match against Costa Rica on Sunday, picking up all three points after their unexpected 2-1 comeback triumph over Germany in their initial Group E match. The Blue Samurai lost to their Central American opponents by a slim margin of 1-0, with Keysher Fuller scored the game-winning goal nine minutes from time to completely open up Group E going into the final round of matches. Hajime Moriyasu's team is still hoping to go to the round of 16 for the second straight World Cup, and they are aware that they must beat Spain in order to do so.
A loss to La Roja will eliminate them from the competition, but a draw would be enough to advance them if Costa Rica loses or if Germany does not win by two or more goals. Moriyasu will be anxious to make sure that his team puts behind their most recent result and instead replicates their performance from matchday one. Japan is rated 24th in the world according to FIFA. Spain and Japan have never met in a competitive match; their lone previous encounter took place in April 2001, with La Roja eking out a 1-0 friendly victory.
Spain was denied the opportunity to secure their spot in the round of 16 over the weekend after they were held to a 1-1 draw in Al Khor by a significantly improved Germany team. Alvaro Morata opened the scoring against Germany with his second goal of the competition just eight minutes after coming off the bench. Morata had previously scored the final goal in a thrashing 7-0 opening victory over Costa Rica. However, Die Mannschaft equalized in the 83rd minute thanks to one of their own substitutes, as Niclas Fullkrug fired the ball past Unai Simon to ensure that the two European powerhouses shared the honours.

#2. Team News

spain vs japan world cup 2022Source: Reuters

Japanese defenders Takehiro Tomiyasu and Hiroki Sakai are both doubtful due to hamstring issues, and Wataru Endo, a midfielder absent from first-team training, could not join the team. The Schalke 04 defender will support in the back four by Miki Yamane, Ko Itakura, and 140-cap veteran Yuto Nagatomo, who will likely win his 125th international game. Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, who both scored in the shocking victory over Germany, will be expecting to start on the flanks, while Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo will also be vying for a starting spot. Endo will replace in center-midfield by either Ao Tanaka or Leganes' Gaku Shibasaki. Daichi Kamada, a playmaker for Eintracht Frankfurt, will keep his spot as the tenth player, either behind Daizen Maeda or Ayase Ueda.
Gavi, a midfielder for Spain who is 18 years old, has missed practice due to a slight injury and is questionable for Thursday's match. Koke, Carlos Soler, and Marcos Llorente are all vying to start their first game in Qatar, while the team's captain Sergio Busquets, who is one caution away from a suspension, could rest. Pau Torres or Eric Garcia might replace Busquets in the deep-lying midfield position, and Rodri of Manchester City would line up beside Aymeric Laporte at the center of the defense. After scoring two goals in as many substitute appearances, Morata will be vying for the attacking starting spot. He could start alongside Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo, with Marco Asensio perhaps moving to the bench.
Possible starting lineup for Japan: Gonda, Tanaka, Morita, Yamane, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Doan, Kamada, Kubo, and Maeda. On the contrary, Simon, Carvajal, P. Torres, Laporte, Alba; Koke, Rodri, Pedri; F. Torres, Morata, and Olmo might be Spain's starting lineup.

#3. We say: Japan 0-2 Spain

spain vs japan world cup 2022Source: Reuters

Inconsistent results in their first two group games have made Japan somewhat of an enigma going into Thursday's meeting, but Moriyasu's spirited group will savour their underdog position, as they did against Germany, and will try to pull off another surprise victory in Doha.
While this is going on, Spain has had a solid start to their World Cup campaign and should be able to defeat Japan even if Enrique decides to change up his starting lineup. For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match click here.
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