Japan and Senegal
World Cup 2018 Group H
Date: Sunday, 24 June 2018
Kick-off at 16:00 UK/ 17:00 CET
Venue: Yekaterinburg Central Stadium.
Japan and Senegal registered unlikely wins over Colombia and Poland by similar 2-1 margin in their group opener and one of these sides could edge closer to knockout qualification on Sunday.
Win or Lose, both teams remains in round of 16 qualification until the final group game. However, the winner could qualify if Poland and Colombia plays out a stalemate.
Japan vs Senegal Match Preview
The Group H of the FIFA World Cup is blown wide open after Japan and Senegal earned surprise wins against the two pre-tournament favourites to top the group.
The most surprising is of course Japan’s 2-1 win against Colombia. The South Americans have only themselves to blame and Carlos Sanchez in particular for for conceding a penalty for deliberate handball 3 minutes from kick-off and earning a sent-off.
Shinji Kagawa converted from the spot and Colombia equalized through a clever freekick from Carlos Quintero before Osako’s 73rd minute header completes a remarkable victory for the Japanese side.
Records broken as this Japan become the first Asian side to defeat a South American team at the FIFA World Cup. This is also their win at the tournament in European soil.
When every other African side were having trouble, Senegal stood up and bagged a decisive win against the group favourites Poland. It was a deserved win for the Lions of Teranga despite their controversial second goal.
This is the second time that Senegal upset the odds at the FIFA World Cup. Back in 2002, their only previous appearance at the competition, Senegal defeated the defending champions France 1-0 in the group opener and drew the subsequent games to make it to the round of 16.
I believe, if there is a winner in this match, they are certain to make it to the round of 16. The losing side will face a tough proportion against their final group game opponent either Poland and Colombia.
Japan vs Senegal Team News & Predicted Line-ups
Japan team news
The FC Koln striker Yuya Osako stole the limelight in his team’s win over Colombia and is expected to keep Shinji Okazaki out of the starting line-up.
Akira Nishino is not expected to make any changes to the side that did a good job against a superior opponent last Tuesday.
Japan Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Kawashima – Nagatomo, Shoji, Yoshida, Sakai – Shibasaki, Hasebe – Inui, Haraguchi, Kagawa – Osako.
Senegal Team News
Alio Cisse used a 4-4-2 formation in the opening game vary of the attacking threat of Poland. He is expected to revert back to 4-2-3-1 formation against a less superior opposition like Japan.
The Stoke City striker Mame Biram Diouf is one of the few players failed to impress on the opening day. Cissé could drop his with the likes of Diafra Sakho, Keita Balde, Moussa Sow and Konate waiting on the wings.
The 19-year old wing back Moussa Wagué was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up against Poland. It will be interesting to see if he can keep Lamine Gassama on the bench for another time.
Senegal Predicted Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
N’Diaye – Sabaly, Koulibaly, Sane, Wague – Mane, N’Diaye, Gueye, Sarr – Niang, Sakho.
Japan vs Senegal Head-to-head
The lone meeting between the two sides date back to a friendly in 2003, won by Japan 1-0.
Japan vs Senegal Prediction
Both sides will be highly motivated after their respective displays in the opening game of the tournament.
With three points in their bag, the pressure is somewhat less and thus either sides can play some free flowing football, that both are capable of.
Japan are a side that scored 11 goals from 9 friendlies prior to the World Cup, while Senegal were more defensive during that period, yet with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane on their ranks, one must expect them to open up any back-line.
Neither of their defenses are particularly sterile and this is why we expect an open game at the Yekaterinburg.
To sum up, I don’t see a clear winner in this game, but both side are expected to go for the win with a difficult opponent to come in the final group game.
Japan vs Senegal Betting Tips
Both teams to Score and Double Chance – Japan or Senegal @ 3.30 odd.
Over 2.5 match goals at 2.37 odd.