In Sunday’s early morning opener from the World Cup, Japan and Costa Rica are set to do battle in Group E. Japan scored one of the best wins of the tournament in the first round of matches, upsetting Germany, while Costa Rica will aim to rebound from the embarrassment of allowing seven goals to Spain. In our soccer betting picks from Qatar for Sunday, we look at the day’s opening match: Japan vs Costa Rica.
Japan vs Costa Rica Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:
|Japan -1.25 (+105)
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|Bet $10, Win $200 if a goal is scored
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This game will be played at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium at 5:00 AM ET on Sunday, November 27, 2022.
Why Bet Japan:
✅ Costa Rica was an embarrassment in their last time out, giving up seven goals to Spain. Japan is not quite as talented as the Spanish, but they will make plenty of progress against the hyper-defensive Costa Rican squad.
✅ Costa Rica didn’t register a single shot against Spain. They may be able to venture forward more than zero times in this match, but even then, why would anyone expect them to do anything with those fleeting moments?
✅ Japan knows that a win here with a little margin could put them in a position to win the group with a draw against Spain. That will depend on how Spain performs against Germany later in the day, but there is a ton of motivation for Japan to hang a big number up here to put the pressure on Spain in the group.
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Japan made a stunning statement to kick off its World Cup campaign, coming back from a goal down to beat Germany. The Japanese attack really sprang to life in the second half of that match, as they were the more consistently dangerous team in the final 45 minutes. Here, they are going to be the more dangerous team for all 90 minutes against a Costa Rica team that simply has no interest in attacking.
For Japan, the key to this match is going to be avoiding lapses on the defensive side of the field. On the rare occasion that Costa Rica does work the ball into attacking areas, they have to remain sound. As long as that happens, this match shouldn’t be a problem.
Costa Rica suffered an embarrassing defeat against Spain in their opener. The embarrassment did not come from losing the match, but the way they went about it. They didn’t register a shot and had the ball for under 20% of the match. They simply need to be more attack-minded if they want any chance to get a point in this tournament or this match.
The problem for Costa Rica is that there is no indication they will attempt to be more aggressive. They have scored two combined goals in their last four World Cup matches dating back to 2018, giving up 12 over that same span. If they cannot figure out a way to score here, it could be another long day in Qatar.