Japan vs. Poland
|Date & Time||Thursday June 28, 2018, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Poland -114 / Draw +249 / Japan +338 -- Over/Under: 2.5
We have some Group H action on the final group stage matchday on Thursday as Japan takes on Poland from the Volgograd Arena.
Japan comes into this match sitting at the top of group H with 4 points claimed out of a possible 6 following a 2-2 draw with Senegal in their last outing. Sadio Mane gave Senegal the lead 11 minutes in before Takashi Inui equalized in the 34th minute. It stayed level until the 71st minute, when Japan fell 2-1 behind, but Keisuke Honda tied the game once again just 7 minutes later, which would result in the deadlock at the final whistle. Japan out possessed Senegal 54%-46%, but were outshot 13-7 and 7-3 in regards to shots on target.
Poland on the other hand will be playing for pride and to play spoiler after being eliminated following a 3-0 beatdown at the hands of Colombia in their last outing on Sunday. Yerry Mina gave Colombia the lead in the 40th minute, and while Poland tried desperately to battle back, they conceded another two goals in the span of 5 minutes, one to Falcao in the 70th and one to Juan Cuadrado in the 75th to fall 3-0 behind and fall out of the tournament. Poland maintained just 45% possession to Colombia’s 55%, while also being outshot 13-9 and 3-2 in terms of shots on goal.
The lone meeting between these two sides was a 2-0 Japanese victory back in 2002.
Poland is a dangerous side in this matchup, as they can play laid back with nothing to play for except pride in this matchup. However, nothing has been guaranteed for Japan as it’s still possible to be eliminated if they don’t get a result here. All in all, I think Japan knows there’s work to do and will stay focused enough to get the job done and finish at the top of the group with a win here.