Japan vs Spain – World Cup Group E: How they’re doing, injuries and prediction as Japanese look to spring surprise


JAPAN are looking to complete the job and qualify for the knockout stages after their surprise win over Germany.

The Japanese could have been home and hosed by now, but were stunned by Costa Rica in the second game.

The Japan XI that lost to Costa Rica

Spain will be heavy favourites to qualify, especially if they show the class that saw them blow away the Costa Ricans in their opener.

A draw against the Germans in their second match means the job is not yet complete.

But it would take a highly improbable sequence of results for Spain to be knocked out.

SunSport takes a look at what to expect from Japan vs Spain including our score prediction.

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How are they getting on?

Japan: Samurai Blue produced one of the shocks of the tournament to beat Germany 2-1 in their opening game.

But a lot of that good work was undone with a shock 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in the second match.

Read the full Japan vs Costa Rica report…

Spain: La Roja hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their first match to put themselves among the tournament favourites.

However, a 1-1 draw with Germany means there is still a little bit of work to be done.

Read the full Spain vs Germany report…

The Spain XI that drew with Germany

Any injuries to worry about?

Japan: Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu is a doubt with a hamstring injury, as is former Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai.

Spain: Teen sensation Gavi is a doubt after missing training with a minor injury.

Who to watch

Japan: Tomiyasu will be crucial for the Japanese if he is fit.

Spain: If Gavi is out then his Barcelona team-mate Pedri could be the key man.

Permutations

Japan will qualify if they win.

Should they draw, they need to hope that Costa Rica vs Germany ends in a draw.

Defeat will see Japan eliminated from the competition.

Spain will be through with a point in this one.

If they lose, they will still qualify if Costa Rica fail to beat Germany, unless Germany win with an eight-goal swing.

What’s the head-to-head?

The sides have met just once, with Spain winning 1-0 in a friendly in Cordoba in 2001.

Odds

Japan 15/2

Draw 7/2

Spain 2/5

SunSport prediction

Japan 0 Spain 2

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