Japan and Samoa go head to head in a must-win clash for both nations at the Rugby World Cup on Thursday (8pm BST).
Locked on five points after their opening two games in Pool D, this is a match neither side can afford to lose in their quests to reach the knockout stages.
Japan vs Samoa Betting Tips
- Samoa to win by 6-10 points @ 9/2 with Bet365
- Kotaro Matsushima to score a try anytime @ 9/4 with BetUK
- Kotaro Matsushima, Jone Naikabula, Ben Lam all to score a try @ 18/1 with Sky Bet
Samoa to edge a nail-biter
Both nations have difficult final pool games coming up. Japan face Argentina, while Samoa take on leaders England. Therefore, it’s imperative for both sides to achieve a positive result here to give themselves the best chance of progressing.
We can certainly expect a closely fought encounter at Stadium de Toulouse with not much separating the two sides and this looks a very tough match to call, with the two sides looking evenly matched heading into the game.
Samoa edged Japan 24-22 in the Pacific Nations Cup, in July, but they had a man advantage for more than half of that game. With both teams still holding a chance of qualification, they will be desperate for a win and won’t be holding anything back.
But the form book is swaying slightly in Samoa’s favour, with Japan now having won just four of their last 19 Tests.
Japan vs Samoa team news
Jamie Joseph makes two changes from the defeat against England. Both come at the back with Dylan Riley and Lomano Lemeki replacing Tomoki Osada and Semisi Masiresa.
Japan: Lomano Lemeki, Kotaro Matsushima, Dylan Riley, Ryoto Nakamura, Jone Naikabula, Rikiya Matsuda, Yutaka Nagare; Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Jiwon Gu, Jack Cornelsen, Amato Fakatava, Michael Leitch, Pieter Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno.
Replacements: Atsushi Sakate, Craig Millar, Asaeli Ai Valu, Warner Dearns, Kanji Shimokawa, Naoto Saito, Seungsin Lee, Tomoki Osada.
Seilala Mapusua makes four alterations from the Argentina loss. Taleni Seu and Sa Jordan Taufua come into the back row, while Ed Fidow and Alai D’Angelo Leuila at right wing and centre.
Samoa: Duncan Paia’aua, Ed Fidow, Tumua Manu, Alai D’Angelo Leuila, Ben Lam, Christian Leali’ifano, Jonathan Taumateine; James Lay, Seilala Lam, Paul Alo-Emile, Chris Vui, Theo McFarland, Taleni Junior Agaese Seu, Fritz Lee, Sa Jordan Taufua.
Replacements: Sama Malolo, Jordan Lay, Michael Alaalatoa, Steven Luatua, Alamanda Motuga, Melani Matavao, Neria Fomai, Danny Toala.