Japan vs. Chile
|Date & Time||Monday June 17, 2019, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Chile -250 / Draw +320 / Japan +800
Asian powerhouse, Japan will be playing at the 2019 Copa America as an invited team. Japan will begin their tournament Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium in Sao Paulo where the will play against the defending champions, Chile.
The Chilean national team has fallen drastically since the previous Copa America as the team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Things have gotten even worse for this team as their key players, Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, have both been playing very poor. Vidal and Sanchez have both lost their starting spots in their club teams and they are not the champion players that led them to the title. Leading up to this tournament, Chile played against Haiti. While Chile won the match, 2-1, it was not a very convincing performance since they were playing against a very weak opponent. To make matters worse, Chile conceded the opening goal and were trailing for the majority of the match. Chile played a strong side against Haiti and the result will be very concerning. This is not an easy start to the tournament since Japan are a very talented side.
Looking at this Japanese team, they will be led by Shinji Okazaki. The Leicester City striker has played over 100 games for Japan and has scored 50 goals for his country. This is a young side as only 2 players are over the age of 30. Japan played 2 warm-up games prior to arriving at the Copa America. Their first game was against Trinidad and Tobago in a match that ended in a 0-0 draw. Japan followed that game by playing against El Salvador. Japan defeated El Salvador 2-0. It is clear to see that Japan have a weaker side than Chile but considering the recent form of both the teams, the Japanese will be optimistic.
Japan are a very exciting team and their captain, Okazaki, is a very exciting leader who will inspire them well. Chile will not be an easy opponent since the team has the ability to play very well. While form hasn’t favored the team, the likes of Vidal and Sanchez can win games for any team and that makes Chile very dangerous. This is a tough match to predict since Chile is very unpredictable but I am going to side with Japan. I have been very impressed with this Japan side and I see them causing an upset in the opening round of games.