Source: foxnews.com

Will Japan Cause an Upset When They Go Up Against Spain?

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So far, the 2023 FIFA World Cup has been completely unpredictable. We have seen several underdogs beat favourites; Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia, and Germany lost to Japan. However, these unexpected turns have made the tournament more exciting.

Japan will face Spain at the Khalifa International Stadium at 7 pm (GMT), 10 pm local time, and 2 pm (ET). Spain has proven to be a tough team to play against, beating Costa Rica 7 -0. Will Japan be able to pull up a decisive performance against Spain? Or will Spain crush Japan?

This article discusses some of the strengths and weaknesses of both teams, a brief history of both teams, bookmakers’ odds and the favourite to win the match.

Past Meetings Between Spain and Japan

Source: pahomepage.com

Spain and Japan have faced one another only once, and it was the 2001 FIFA World Cup that Spain won, beating Japan 1-0.

The Spanish Team: 2023 FIFA World Cup Performance so far

The Spanish team has proven to be a tough nut to crack with their incredible performance against Costa Rica. The Spaniards beat Costa Rica 7-0 at Al Thumama Stadium, snatching for themselves the top spot in Group E. The team had 82 percent of possession in the match, leaving a measly 18 per cent for Costa Rica.

Spain was completely dominant, with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Ferran Torres (2), Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata all on target.

Spain’s appetite for goals was voracious, as before the first half was over, three goals had already entered the net. Four more goals were added in the second half of the game.

Spain will face tougher opponents as the tournament goes on, with a match scheduled on the 27th of November when they will face Germany. Regardless, the performance against Costa Rica gives a massive goal difference which will mean a lot in the tournament. Spain’s performance further proves how unexpected the world cup is, as most favourites, including Germany and Argentina, are already struggling.

Spain was outstanding in passes, handling, and finishing. According to the head coach, this mental philosophy has guided the national team for years. The team was exceptional in pressing opponents and didn’t give Costa Rica breathing space. The impact of all 17 players was felt, with each contributing to the team’s tremendous win. (Reference: TBS)

The Spanish Team: Players’ Strengths and weaknesses

Source: football-espana.net

Luis Enrique has made a total revamp to the Spanish national team. With an undeniable desire to win the world cup, Spain is packed full of incredible talents and experience playing on their stage. Most players in the Spanish team are young, strong and quick on their feet, making Spain a team to be feared.

Spain brought a balanced team, with Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba from the golden era, to give much-needed veteran experience to the squad. This will likely be the last world cup for both players, and they will give it their best.

Ferran Torres, Pedri and Gavi, all from Barcelona, will add their youth and star power. While the veterans use thence of the tournament to support the team, the youngsters, including Gavi (18), Pedri (19), Ansu Fati (19) and Ferran Torres (22) will provide the speed, agility and athleticism, creating chances on the midfield and electrifying finishes that will give Spain an edge.

However, despite all the great qualities Spain possesses in players, there are a few noticeable weaknesses in the squad. Despite averaging one goal in two games played for Spain, forward Alvaro Morata is a less reliable option compared to his predecessors, Fernando Torres and David Villa. The Atletico Madrid striker has failed to live up to his potential at the club level, and the World Cup is his chance to show himself and revive his career. As a major part of Luis Enrique’s plan, there will be ample opportunities for him to score goals.

Gavin, who is just 18 years old, has broken the record previously held by Pele as the youngest player to score in the world cup. He is also the youngest in the Spanish national team and is ready to make a name for himself.

The Japanese Team: 2023 FIFA World Cup Performance so far

Source: sportsbrief.com

Against all odds, Japan defeated four Tim’s champions, Germany, at the Khalifa International Stadium. Two late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano gave Japan the win.

Japan managed to carry out the most surprising upset in World Cup history, beating a four-time champion for the first time in their entire history.

The Japanese side played a defensive game, matching Germany’s brute attack with skilled and smooth defence.

Japan was swift with the counterattack, and Japan was able to grab the win, gaining three points from Germany.

The Japanese Team: Players’ strength and weaknesses

The Japanese coach, Moriyasu, is a master of tactical analysis, preserving the 4-2-3-1 formation.

28-year-old Asano, who at club level plays in Germany, is a skilled winger on his 39th appearance in the Japanese national team. He has scored his 9th goal so far.

Right flank Junya Ito is a low-key but talented player who has scored two winning goals and provided crucial assists. He holds the right flank without remorse and can give crosses that reach the target regardless. He cuts through defenders and creates decisive chances. He is Japan’s secret weapon for this tournament. (Reference: Sky Sports)

Also, if Japan has no strikers, the centre forwards are more than capable of scoring.  The team’s attack is full of midfielders which can be a double-edged sword for Japan.

As always, there are holes in Japan’s team. The back is completely exposed, although the defence is solid.

The team also lacks the hunger and fire needed in a team that wishes to at least reach round 16. The winning goal was in the last minutes of the match against Germany. Spain is fierce competition, and the winning mentality of the Spanish team has led them to a massive win against Japan.

Bookmakers Odd and Favourite to Win

Source: sportingnews.com

With 1.79 odds, Spain is the favourite to win. The Spanish team is packed with players who have experience playing in the World Cup.

However, there is room for surprises as the teams categorised as favourites have been flattering. Japan may pull a surprise counterattack against Spain.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com