Japan vs Spain: Betting tips, predictions, odds & match preview

Japan and Spain face-off in a crucial game in Group E on Thursday evening at 7pm (UK time). 

Japan vs Spain: Betting tips

Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ Only. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Japan vs Spain: Predictions

Japan vs Spain: Predictions

Bet Prediction Odds
BTTS? No 4/6 with BetUK
Correct score Japan 0-2 Spain 11/2 with BetUK
First Goalscorer Alvaro Morata 18/5 with BetUK

After a 2-1 win over Germany in their opening game, Japan were brought firmly back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, who scored with their only shot on target of the game. A point wouldn’t have secured qualification to the knockout stages but it would have put them in a good position. Now, they have to get a positive result against Spain and hope other results go their way.

After a lacklustre first half against Costa Rica, Japan came out a different side in the second, but couldn’t find a way past Keylor Navas and suffered a knockout blow as Keysher Fuller found the net with his curling effort late on.

Luis Enrique’s men followed up their 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica with a hard fought point against Germany, despite substitute Alvaro Morata giving his side a 62nd minute lead. German sub Niclas Füllkrug equalised with just seven minutes left to play after some good work by Jamal Musiala and points were shared between the two heavyweights. 

A point will be enough to see the Spaniards make it out of Group E, and finishing second may be favourable as it would see them avoid a potential quarter-final tie against Brazil but Enrique has no such plans in mind.

“We have wondered about this. We have reflected upon it. Yes, it would be better to finish runners-up. But what happens if it’s goalless in both games at 90 minutes? And then Japan and Costa Rica both score a goal – we’re out,” he told reporters.

“We’re here to win seven matches. We want to win the group. Does that mean we have to play runners-up of Group F?

“So what? That’s perfect. Whatever. In theory it could be Brazil. Okay, great, so let’s play Brazil. There’s no such thing as ‘easy’ in football. To win a World Cup you have to beat everyone that comes your way.”

Enrique also spoke of the mentality he is trying to instil in his Spain squad, using a motto made famous by tennis legend Billie Jean King, and how he is managing time off.

He added: “We have copied the slogan ‘Pressure is a privilege’ from the US Open. This is our privilege. We are the chosen ones here. It reflects what we are looking for.

“There are so many cliches about training camps being very strict. I don’t know who came up with this. The players have time off, why should they have to follow strict rules?

“The only rule I set when we met up 16 days ago is that we need to have fun – we need to enjoy this.”

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Japan vs Spain match stats

Despite playing just 69 minutes at the World Cup, Alvaro Morata has scored in each of his two substitute appearances against both Costa Rica and Germany and has surely done enough to earn his first start of the competition against Japan. Luis Enrique’s side looked much more of a threat against Germany after the Atletico man was introduced in the 54th minute, causing all sorts of problems with his runs in behind.

Only four players at this World Cup have had more shots on target than Dani Olmo’s four — Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Marcus Rashford and Salem Al Dawsari — but all of those have already played their three group stage matches. Olmo’s four shots on target have also come from just six efforts in two games against Costa Rica and Germany. Being deployed on the left of a very fluid front three has given him the freedom to roam and is letting fly at will, being a constant threat in and around the opposition box.

Japan vs Spain match result odds

Japan vs Spain: Squawka Says

Scoreline prediction: Japan 0-2 Spain

Japan vs Spain head-to-head

25 April 2001 – Spain 1-0 Japan – Friendly

This will be the first competitive meeting between Japan and Spain, with La Roja winning the only previous match — a friendly — in 2001.