FIFA World Cup 2022 : Spain vs Japan Match Preview and Lineups

Spain vs Japan
GAME Spain vs Japan
DATE 01/12/2022
TIME 12:30 AM (Indian Standard Time)
ARENA Khalifa International Stadium
LEAGUE FIFA World Cup 2022
Spain [1-2] Japan

Match Preview of Spain vs Japan

Group E leaders Spain will lock horns with second-placed Japan in an intriguing 2022 World Cup contest at the Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday evening.

Both nations failed to claim maximum points in their last group game, with La Roja forced to share the spoils with Germany, while the Blue Samurai suffered defeat against Costa Rica.

After recording a shock 2-1 comeback victory against Germany in their opening Group E fixture, many tipped Japan to come away with all three points from Sunday's clash against Costa Rica.

However, the Blue Samurai were condemned to a slender 1-0 defeat by their Central American counterparts, with Keysher Fuller scoring the decisive goal nine minutes from time to blow Group E wide open ahead of the final round of fixtures.

Hajime Moriyasu's side remain in the hunt to progress to the last 16 for the second successive World Cup, and know that a victory against 2010 world champions Spain will see them qualify.

A draw, meanwhile, could be enough to edge them through if Costa Rica fail to beat Germany or if the latter fail to win by two or more goals, but a defeat against La Roja would knock them out of the competition.

Whether Japan, ranked 24th in the world by FIFA, can pull off another seismic shock on Thursday remains to be seen, but Moriyasu will be keen to ensure his team put aside their most recent result and instead replicate their performance from matchday one.

Japan have never faced Spain in a competitive fixture before, with their only previous meeting back in April 2001 when La Roja secured a narrow 1-0 friendly win.

Spain missed the chance to book their place in the last 16 over the weekend after they were pegged back by a much-improved Germany outfit to draw 1-1 in Al Khor.

After scoring the final goal in a thumping 7-0 opening win over Costa Rica, Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock against Germany with his second goal of the tournament, flicking a first-time finish from close range past Manuel Neuer just eight minutes after coming off the bench.

Our Predicted Lineups

Spain possible starting lineup:Gonda; Yamane, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Tanaka, Morita; Doan, Kamada, Kubo; Maeda

Japan possible starting lineup: starting lineup:Simon; Carvajal, P. Torres, Laporte, Alba; Koke, Rodri, Pedri; F. Torres, Morata, Olmo

Who will win the match?

We say: Japan 0-2 Spain. Japan's conflicting results in their opening two group matches make them somewhat of an unknown quantity heading into Thursday's clash, but Moriyasu's energetic bunch will relish their underdog status, as they did against Germany, and will bid to pull off another shock result in Doha. Spain, meanwhile, have made a strong start to their World Cup campaign, and even if Enrique decides to rotate his starting lineup, they should have enough quality to get the job done against Japan.

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