We take a look at tonight’s World Cup Qualifier between Japan and the Socceroos which is set to kick off at 8:35PM. The Socceroos can secure a World Cup spot with a win but it won’t be easy against a very good Japanese side away from home. View the odds for each team and our match preview and tips.
When: Thursday, August 31, 8.35pm (AEST)
Where: Saitama Stadium, Japan
This is an enormous match for the Socceroos.
Japan have to win and we can’t afford to lose, so there is everything to play for.
Our record for wins in Japan isn’t good at all, so we certainly have a real solid test here to keep ourselves in the drivier’s seat for World Cup Qualification.
We need our players that have started off their domestic seasons so well to be on song but also supported by the others.
It’ll be a capacity 57,000 plus crowd at Saitama Stadium and I think we’ll enjoy the environment.
This is exactly the type of game we need when everything is at stake.
Home support for Japan will be relentless but it’s up to the Socceroos to control the noise factor.
No better way than starting well and getting on the scoresheet.
The Socceroos will be without Mile Jedinak but we’ve been in this position before and although the Socceroos skipper gives our defence good protection, he probably doesn’t have the range which someone like Mark Milligan has.
I don’t see this being a problem and we have coped and even dominated against better teams without Jedinak.
Milligan can fulfill his role along with Aaron Mooy, so I believe we’re covered.
Mooy (pictured at top) has showed he’s an integral part of Huddersfield in the EPL and that is perfect for the Socceroos.
His role in the Socceroos will be just as important and the pleasing fact is he’s now proven and has shown he can handle that pressure.
He’ll be a very important player in controlling the game for us.
Keisuke Honda is Japan’s main threat.
He plays a fairly free role and has great quality
He’s good in the air and has also taken a new challenge in Mexico but has adapted very well.
Honda is a player who has played at the highest level and won’t be phased by this challenge.
I think the game will be quite cagey as both teams don’t want to be losing this one, so the bravest team can come out on top.
Sure, we’ll be asked some questions but we still have the physical edge and should be able to assert our dominance when needed to give us every chance of getting a result that will keep us in the driver’s seat.
This will be a game where both teams fear the loss more than knocking home the advantage.
Australia has never beaten Japan in Japan and our only overseas wins over the Blue Samurai have come in South Korea (Seoul, 1969) and Germany (Kaiserslautern, 2006).
Draws have been aplenty and this is how I see this one ending up as well.
Japan at $1.95
Draw at $3.50
Australia at $4.00
Tip: Draw at $3.50
Correct score: 1-1
Total goals: Under 2.5 at $1.80
Double chance: Australia or Draw at $1.86
Both teams to score: Yes at $1.82
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