Belgium v Japan Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 1st July
Connor Thompson (@thompsonnn10) previews Belgium v Japan and provides us with his best bets Mondays game by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts.
Belgium v Japan Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 02/07/18
- Time: 19:00
- Venue: Rostov Arena
- Channel: BBC
With a place in the quarter-final up for grabs, Group G winners Belgium face Group H runners-up Japan in Rostov on Monday night.
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium are heavy favourites to qualify at odds of 1/6 (Sky Bet) after topping a group consisting of England, Tunisia and Panama.
The Red Devils one of the best squads in the World Cup player for player and the task of crow-baring all the attacking talent it has worked so far for Martinez as Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have managed six goals between themselves in Russia.
Playing against a much-changed England side in their last game, Belgium haven’t really been tested yet and Japan could be the first side to get in-behind the two-man midfield of Axel Witsel and Keven De Bruyne.
Japan’s qualification to the knock-out stages has been a difficult one to read as a red card and a penalty for Colombia all but gave the Japanese a one nil head start against the 10 men from South America.
They followed the Colombia performance with a spirited fight back against Senegal, coming from behind not once, but twice. However, the grit and determination in that game wasn’t shown in the last match against Poland as they were happy to take the 1-0 loss, demonstrated by their time wasting in the final 15 minutes.
After surprisingly escaping the group and only managing a win against a team with 10-men from the fifth minute onwards, I feel Belgium will have the know-how and firepower to blow past Japan.
Following a squad rotation against England, Belgium will change back to the team that they used against Panama and Tunisia. The only likely change is captain Vincent Kompany, who has returned from injury.
Japan made six changes in their game against Poland and will likely revert back to the team they used in their second game against Senegal.
Potential Belgium Starting XI: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen, Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco, Mertens, Hazard – Lukaku.
Potential Japan Starting XI: Kawashima, Sakai, Yoshida, Shoji, Nagatomo, Hasebe, Shibasaki, Haraguchi, Kagawa, Inui, Osako.
Head To Head
- Belgium wins: 1
- Draws: 2
- Japan wins: 2
Key Stats & Facts
- The sides have met once at a World Cup before, a 2-2 draw in 2002.
- The last time these two sides met was November 2017, Belgium winning 1-0.
- Japan’s group stage record was LDW
- Belgium’s group stage record was WWW
- Lukaku is the top scorer for Belgium with four goals.
- BTTS has landed in 2 on their five meetings, whilst over 2.5 has landed in 3 of their last five.
- Belgium 2/5
- Draw 7/2
- Japan 15/2
Lukaku became Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer at the age of 24 and is the clear focal point in their attack. Similarly to his role at Manchester United, Lukaku plays centrally on his own, with the likes of Hazard and Mertens usually occupying half-spaces on the left and right wing. As we’ve already seen this tournament, Lukaku is a threat in behind and in the air and I can see him getting a fair few chances with Hazard and De Bruyne pulling the strings.