Japan vs. England
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 19, 2019, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: England +112 / Japan +289 / Draw +216 -- Over/Under: 2
Japan and England meet Wednesday in FIFA Women's World Cup at Allianz Riviera.
Japan is coming off a 2-1 win over Scotland that locked up a spot in the knockout stages. Nadeshiko Japan has now made it out of the group stages each of the last three trips to the world cup. Japan has done a wonderful job of bringing defensive pressure and limiting the quality looks from its opponents, as its allowed just one goal the tournament and has allowed a combined two goals in its last three matches overall. It will now be interesting to see which Japan shows up in this contest given we’ve seen two versions of this team through two matches. Japan was sluggish and uninspired against Argentina, but we saw the attacking and aggressive offense against Scotland. One thing for sure is that Japan has another gear and knows how to show up in must-win situations.
England is coming off a 1-0 win over Argentina and has won both matches to put itself in good position to win the group. England has now made it out of the group stages in all five of its world cup appearances. England has dominated ball possession in both matches and has been quite physical with a combined 19 fouls. England has also allowed one or less goals in each of its last seven matches. Three Lionesses have an identity and stick to it, even if it can sometimes be a little frustrating to watch. England enters this match winning each of its last four world cup matches.
These teams played in a friendly match back in March, and England won 3-0. England is 2-1-1 in the previous four meetings against Japan.
Both of these teams have the talent and the experience to win this match, but it’s the way England owns possession and the physical style defensively that makes me lean that direction. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that England has beaten up on Japan in past meetings, including a match a couple of months ago where England had a 3-0 lead at the half. Japan has also been two different teams through two matches, so it's hard to trust them against one of the better teams in the field.
I like England to sweep the group with what would be a fifth straight world cup victory.