Japan has control of their own destiny in Group H, as they just need a draw against Poland on Thursday to advance to the Round of 16. Japan has been one of the surprises of the 2018 World Cup, as they were not expected to do anything. On the other side, Poland has been a major disappointment, as they come into this game winless.
The question in this match is how much motivation Poland will have to play the role of spoiler. Let’s look at the match that can be seen on FS1 and World Cup picks.
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2018 FIFA World Cup – Japan vs. Poland
Date and Time: Thursday, June 28, 2018, 10 a.m. ET
Location: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
World Cup Betting Online Odds at BetCris:
Total 2.5 over -121
Japan -1/2 +111
Poland +1/2 -129
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FS1
Japan is favored to win this match on Thursday against Poland, but Japan still has some concerns. Head coach Akira Nishino said that his team’s offense has been solid, but defense and goalkeeping is still a question. Keeper Eiji Kawashima has looked shaky, but whether Poland can put any pressure on him is in question. Poland lost 2-1 to Senegal and then was overwhelmed by Colombia, losing 3-0. Poland has simply shown no ability to pressure opposing teams.
Japan might be able to find openings against Poland’s defense and playmaker Shinji Kagawa should be able to find wingers Takashi Inui and Genki Haraguchi for at least one goal.
Poland’s top player Robert Lewandowski has had a few chances, but overall the Poland attack has been poor. Lewandowski said that his team needs to show some pride on Thursday. “We have given our fans lot of joy in recent years, and here we did not give them any. That is why our game against Japan is important for us as we want to show the style which brought us here.” Lewandowski said to the media, “As captain, I will always believe in this team. Of course, I am disappointed by the way we have played here. But it is the team's disappointment, not only mine. From one side I feel responsible for these defeats, but personally I think I could not do nothing more..."
Japan is 2-2-1 in their last five matches, with three of the five going over the total. Poland is 2-2-1 in their last five matches, with all five games going over the total.
Japan vs. Poland Free Picks
Japan is not a great team, but Poland has shown very little in this year’s World Cup. The question is whether or not they will show up with a solid effort in what is a meaningless game for them. Lewandowski in his comments kind of threw the entire team under the bus saying that he has played well and that it is not his fault the team has lost. I find it hard to believe that the players are going to rally around those types of comments and play a great game against Japan. The problem with taking Japan is twofold, as they are not that good and they don’t even need to win this game to advance, as a draw would be enough. I just can’t see either one of these teams taking many chances offensively and I expect a very dull contest. I would lean slightly to Japan, but I think the total is a better option. I am actually a little bit surprised that the total on the game is not two. I will take this game under the total of 2.5 goals.
Japan vs. Poland Pick: Under the Total at BetCris
Japan vs. Poland Score Prediction: Japan 1, Poland 0
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