Iran vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup
Date: Monday, 28 January 2019
Kick-Off at 14:00 UK/ 15:00 CET
Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium (Al Ain).
Iran take on Japan in the first semifinal of the 2019 Asian Cup.
There is little doubt that Iran are favorites for this tie as they were brushing aside opponents so far in the tournament.
The quarter final saw Carlos Queiroz’s men thumping China by 3 goals to nil. This took their goal tally to 12 goals, while they are yet to concede one in the competition.
Japan on the other hand managed to edge past a spirited Vietnam 1-0 to make it to the semifinal. They won all their 5 matches in the competition, but they look far from convincing by usual standards.
Poor finishing and lack of concentration in defense has been Hajime Moriyasu’s problems at the continental competition.
Iran vs Japan Head-to-head
Japan are slightly ahead in the h2h, but that is only 3 wins as against 2 by Iran from the last 8 with the remaining 3 ending in stalemates.
Five of their last six encounters saw both teams finding the back of the goal net. While, 4 of those recorded 3 or more goals.
It will be worth to note that this is the first Asian Cup meeting between Japan and Iran since 1992. A solitary goal helped the Samurai settle the game on that occasion.
Iran vs Japan Prediction
In my opinion, Iran is the best team in Asia and they made swift improvements since a failed campaign at World Cup in Russia. The main difference is their attacking intent which saw them scoring a lot of goals in this competition, previously been a team that win matches on the back of a bullet proof defense.
Japan is easily the second-best team in the continent, but I am hardly impressed with their lack of concentration at crucial junctures of matches this term. Their main vulnerability is in defense, could act as their downfall against a disciplined and hardworking team like Iran.
Iran vs Japan Betting Tips
Iran to qualify for finals @ 1.62 (5/8)
Under 2.5 goals at full 90 minutes @ 4/9 (1.44).