Japan vs. Switzerland
|Date & Time||Friday June 8, 2018, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Switzerland +104 / Draw +225 / Japan +250 -- Over/Under: 2.5
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on-demand on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
We have some international friendly action on the soccer pitch as a pair of World Cup hopefuls go head-to-head when Switzerland takes on Japan on Friday.
Switzerland will look to end their pre-World Cup friendly schedule with some momentum after going unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 matches with their lone loss coming at the hands of the defending European champions Portugal in World Cup qualifying. The Swiss have maintained a clean sheet in 10 of their last 13 matches, but did concede in a 1-1 draw with Spain in their most recent friendly, with Ricardo Rodriguez equalizing in the 62nd minute. The Swiss were dominated in terms of possession from the Spaniards, holding just 35% possession while being outshot 18-5 with only 2 shots on target.
Japan on the other hand will look to turn things around after going winless so far to start 2018, including back-to-back losses to Ukraine and most recently a 2-0 loss to Ghana just over a week ago. Japan found themselves heavily attacking Ghana, with 55% possession and 19 shots to Ghana’s 7 with 8 shots on target to Ghana’s 2. It didn’t matter for coach Akira Nishino’s men however, finding themselves down a goal just 9 minutes into the match before Emmanuel Boating doubled that lead from the penalty spot after halftime. The offense hasn’t been the problem for Japan, scoring in eight of their last 10 games overall, but the problems defensively, giving up goals on the other side in nine of those same ten matches.
These two teams have not met since 2007, which saw a thrilling 4-3 victory for Japan in a friendly matchup there as well.
Japan’s offensive prowess would lead one to believe that Both Teams to Score may be an option here. However, Switzerland are a lot tighter at the back than the Japanese, and have done well against some stiff competition, while Japan struggled to draw with Mali and haven’t looked all that good against other competition as of late, so I feel like siding with Switzerland for the win to head into the World Cup on a high is the way to go. Japan has just too many issues for me to give them any thought at the moment.