Japan vs Turkmenistan
AFC Asian Cup
Date: Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Kick-Off at 11:00 UK
Venue: Al-Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Japan have managed to retain consistency under Hajime Moriyasu since their World Cup exit and we’ve seen them bag four wins and a draw in five outings ahead of their Asian Cup campaign, which should have them in a good mood as they open the competition against Turkmenistan on Wednesday.
Samurai Blue have beaten Costa Rica, Panama, Uruguay, and Kyrgyzstan in convincing performances especially in the final third, whereas only Venezuela managed to hold them off and fight out a 1-1 draw midway through November.
Turkmenistan will now want to put on a similar challenge but the difference in quality and ambition is more than obvious, despite their fine form of recent with a more lenient schedule.
Indeed, Yazguly Hojageldiyew’s men have beaten Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and Afghanistan since October but coping with Japan will be a different task altogether – where the thrashing loss to Bahrain comes off as a huge worry.
They’ve been scoring goals on the regular and will want to do the same in Abu Dhabi but we don’t see them doing serious damage.
Japan vs Turkmenistan: Head-to-head
This will be the sides’ first head-to-head clash as they haven’t had a chance to meet before.
Japan come as heavy favourites, priced at just 1.10 at this point.
Turkmenistan have timed their form ahead of the competition and will surely be hoping for an upset.
Japan vs Turkmenistan: Prediction
However, we do feel Japan are still in a much better place now and we’ll back them to build on their goalscoring tally once again, sticking with Samurai Blue to win & Over 3.5 goals FT – which combines to a good-looking 1.85.
Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino has been leading the line with four goals in five appearances with the national team and we’ll now back the young forward to score anytime now as well, coming at 1.53. We do expect them very motivated going forward and this should result in a great game in the final third.
Japan vs Turkmenistan: Bet Tips
Japan to win & Over 3.5 @ 1.85 (6/7)
Takumi Minamino to score anytime @ 1.53 (6/11).