On 27 November, Germany and Spain will lock horns in FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E. Why is that relevant to this Japan vs Costa Rica game? Because both teams will sense an opportunity to build momentum.
One, or both, of the Germans and the Spaniards, will drop points from their meeting, and so the Japanese and the Costa Ricans have a chance of keeping their Qatar World Cup 2022 aspirations alive with victory in Al Rayyan.
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- Japan eyeing progression from FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E
- Costa Rica to revel in plucky underdog tag
- Japan vs Costa Rica analysis and betting tips
- How to bet on Qatar World Cup 2022
Japan Hoping History Repeats Itself
Having reached the last 16 of three of the last five editions of the World Cup, Japan has a habit of progressing no matter how much the chips are stacked against them.
They are here, of course, with Germany and Spain occupying FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E alongside them, but Hajime Moriyasu’s men might just fancy their chances of an upset given that’s something they have a habit of doing on football’s biggest stage.
The good news is that they easily made their way through the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers in their AFC region, finishing second in their pool behind Saudi Arabia. They shared the goals around – that’s always a good sign – with former Liverpool attacker Takumi Minamino a key figure:
While not stacked with headline-making stars, Japan’s squad has many players who feature regularly in Europe’s big five leagues, and their pedigree at the World Cup suggests they should be a warm favourite against the Costa Ricans here.
Costa Rica Hoping to Avoid FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E Wooden Spoon
You have to hand it to Costa Rica.
They missed out on automatic 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification by goal difference, but they put that disappointment behind them to defeat New Zealand in the inter-confederation play-off last November.
This will be their sixth World Cup appearance, and despite their relatively small size Costa Rica has a habit of enjoying their underdog status in the spotlight – they reached the quarter-finals of World Cup 2014 and progressed to the knockout stage in 1990 too.
Gold Cup quarter-finalists in 2021, head coach Luis Fernando Suarez has brought plenty of success to the team known as Los Ticos, but they seem to hit their head against a metaphorical brick wall when playing higher-ranked opposition – Mexico, the United States and Canada all beating them in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
And so they will need to improve in Qatar, especially as they averaged less than a goal per game scored in qualifying:
It’s a squad largely made up of players from the Costa Rican domestic league, which is a lower standard than that contested by much of the Japanese roster every week. But Keylor Navas is a world-class goalkeeper – he might just need to be in Qatar too – while Campbell is still playing at a decent level in Mexico.
Costa Rica didn’t win a single game at World Cup 2018, but when the Qatar 2022 dates were revealed, it was this contest against Japan that they would have earmarked as the most likely to end that drought.
Betting Tips and Odds on Japan vs Costa Rica in FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E
With ten places separating Japan and Costa Rica in FIFA’s rankings, it’s clear that Japan is a stronger team.
Their players are competing to a higher standard each week than Costa Ricans, and national teams participating in World Cups with domestic squads tend to get caught out.
Costa Rica has upset the applecart before in this tournament – most notably in 2014, but once again they find themselves an unlikely underdog. Japan will surely prove too strong for the plucky Central Americans.
You can find out first-hand if that proves to be the case, with both ITV and STV in the UK broadcasting this contest.
Bets on Japan vs Costa Rica at LV BET
So how will you bet on Japan vs Costa Rica?
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