Football specialist James O’Rourke (@JamesOR1) previews Uruguay v Japan and provides us with his best bets for both of these nations’ second group game by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: -7.36pts

Uruguay v Japan Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 21/06/19
  • Time: 00:00
  • Venue: Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre
  • Channel: Premier Sports

Both teams experienced a 4-0 score in their opening encounters of the 2019 Copa America, with Uruguay enjoying a rather comfortable evening versus Ecuador, whilst Japan were put to the sword by two-time reigning champions Chile. It would be fair to say that both nations have different aspirations and goals went it comes to this summer’s competition. For Uruguay, they firmly believe they can go all the way once again, and their showing in Belo Horizonte did their quest no harm at all. Japan however are looking towards the future, and whilst they produced a decent performance in parts a few nights ago, their lack of experience ultimately proved their undoing.

Uruguay will expect nothing less than another three points here as they look to secure an early passage into the knockout stages. Top spot remains their priority, and Chile are likely to provide sufficient competition in that regard. Japan could very well rotate their side and hand out minutes across the board. The Olympics is their next real passionate, and this Copa America is being used to blood them for future endeavours. The odds place Uruguay are big, big favourites to claim another win, and anything less would be a big, big surprise indeed.

Team News

Uruguay will be forced into making a change to their starting eleven as they look to secure their passage into the knockout stages of the Copa America. Oscar Tabarez will be forced into replacing midfielder Matias Vecino, who is ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury sustained late on versus Ecuador. Arsenal man Lucas Torreira should replace him, whilst Federico Valverde of Real Madrid is another alternative.

Japan are obviously treating this tournament as preparation for the Olympic Games and the next cycle of major international events. Whilst they lost 4-0 versus Chile, they performed with credit for long spells. Therefore, it could be that an unchanged team is named. However, some changes cannot be ruled out, or even several, considering the fact that are looking at the bigger picture in terms of the future. Hiroki Abe and Koji Miyoshi are knocking on the door hoping to earn starting berths.

Potential Uruguay Starting XI: Muslera, Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt, Nandez, Torreira, Bentancur, Lodeiro, Suarez, Cavani.

Potential Japan Starting XI: Osako, Hara, Ueda, Tomiyasu, Sugioka, Maeda, Shibasaki, Nakayama, Nakajima, Kubo, Ueda.

Head To Head

  • These two nations met last October during a friendly, which ended in a thrilling 4-3 victory for hosts Japan. Edinson Cavani was among the scorers for Uruguay on that occasion, but Luis Suarez was absent.
  • Uruguay did win each of the three contests before the most recent occasion, winning by a two-goal margin every time.
  • In total, there was been seven head-to-head clashes between Japan and Uruguay. The tally from that reads Japan with two wins, Uruguay with four and one solitary draw.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Uruguay started off their Copa America campaign in tremendous style to continue their emphatic sequence of victories. They’ve won their last four matches in succession, with the scores being 3-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 4-0.
  • Japan began with a 4-0 setback, which was harsh considering that their young side created a number of good opportunities to find the back of the net. That was their third defeat of 2019, which meant that all three losses have come versus teams competing at this year’s Copa America (Qatar and Colombia being the other two).
  • For six games running, both teams to score has not paid out in Uruguay’s matches. The same can be said in ten of Japan’s previous thirteen.
  • Uruguay failed to depart the group stage in the last Copa America in 2016; losing their first two matches to Mexico and Venezuela. 1999 was the last time Japan were invited to the Copa America, and they also suffered a 4-0 defeat in the group stage that time too; with Paraguay earning the big win.

Betting Odds

  • Uruguay 1/6
  • Draw 6/1
  • Japan 14/1

The Verdict

The first thing that comes to mind looking at this one is that it is effectively men against boys. Uruguay have experience to burn, whilst Japan are using this competition to ultimately get experience. With that in mind, it is no shock to see the bookies price this one up as it is. The only possible doubt could be if Uruguay rotate their team, but I don’t believe they will. Japan deserve respect as the 4-0 loss to Chile did not tell the full story. However, this will be a completely different game and Uruguay won’t be as open. With that in mind, I would be somewhat surprised if Japan found a way past this rather stubborn Uruguayan defence, headlined by Godin and Gimenez. This is a defence which has kept four clean sheets in succession. Japan are perhaps more likely to rotate and spread minutes around their roster, so that would disrupt them even more. Taking that into account as well, I like the look of Uruguay taking a fairly early lead in this one as well. They’ll want to wrap this up as early as possible with a tougher test with Chile to come; one which will likely decide this group.

Recommended Bets

  • 2pts – Uruguay to win ‘to nil’ – 4/5 (BetVictor)
  • 1pt – Uruguay Leading After 30 Minutes – 23/20 (Coral)