Australia VS Japan Prediction
Group B of Asian 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers looks as a real carousel where after opening three rounds we find four teams with ambitions for a top 2 positioning. Two of them are here to open Tuesday’s football schedule when “Etihad Stadium” in Melbourne is set to stage clash between Australia and Japan and game comes with bigger importance, since teams of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also in contention for booking tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In a fact, after opening three rounds, Australia shares first two positions with team of Saudi Arabia after their 2-2 draw on Thursday night, while Japan remains third with same number of points (6) and goal difference as team of UAE, leaving them on one point behind both group leaders.
Australia vs Japan – Team News and Match Preview
Situation in the group looks really tied and we have four nations with certain aspirations, while teams of Iraq and Thailand are still seeking first point.
Actually Iraq were very close to earn a point from their visit to Japan where “Samurai Blue” had to escape from a potential failure in 95th minute, as substitution Hotaru Yamaguchi scored that late winner. Thus Japan won 2-1 and this was their second successive win after the 2-0 in Thailand last month. However, these two victories were preceded by a surprising home defeat against the United Arab Emirates – 1:2 in Japan’s opening qualifier at the “Saitama Stadium”.
This leaves Vahid Halilhodzic’s men behind top two sides and it seems Japan may feel particular difficulties on its way towards a sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup participation.
Socceroos are coming back home after a tough match in Jeddah, where Saudi Arabia took the lead early in the game – Taisir Al Jassim has opened the score after only 5 minutes. Australian defender Trent Sainsbury restored the draw in closing first-half seconds while number 9 Tomi Juric scored second goal in 71st minute. Nevertheless, Australia couldn’t retain the full comeback and Nasser Al Shamrani formed the final score in 79th minute.
This was first wrong step for Ange Postecoglou’s men in the qualifiers, but still, draw away from home against one of the main rivals isn’t that bad. Indeed, Australia remains in good position after victories against Iraq (2-0) and vs the UAE (1-0) in first two legs. Thus Socceroos are keen to benefit from their home advantage on Tuesday evening, when another main rival regarding their FIFA World Cup campaign will put them on pressure.
Australia vs Japan – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Australia won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup trophy for the first time and as champions of the Asian Football Confederation, Socceroos carry huge burden on their shoulder. They have already met the expectations to lift the Asian Cup trophy on home soil and they have reputation to defend here, which suggest they should be considered for strongest team among all the AFC representatives. Japan are one of their main competitors and we must say that Australia’s last success over the “Samurai Blue” dates from more than seven years – 2-1 victory in June 2009. Japan have won in three from all next five meetings between both sides as undoubtedly most hurtful from them was the 2011 AFC Asian Cup final in Doha, where Japan won after extra-time. It was followed by two draws (1-1 in both occasions) in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and two victories for Japan in period 2013-14 – one of them was in the East Asian Cup, while their latest matchup was a friendly match in November 2014 – 2:1 for Japan.
Now Soceroos strive to secure themselves more composure before upcoming two outings against Thailand (in November) and Iraq (March 2017), which requires proper result against team of Japan.
We can say the same for squad led by experienced Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodzic since Japan have already slipped once, but good thing is they will play one from next two rounds at home, when in November Japan welcomes Saudi Arabia.
Both coaches can rely to their best men for that duel and like currently suggested odds for a home win – 1X2 Betting on Australia. Socceroos can scoop all the points at own turf and they’ll finally put an end of their winless record against Japan.
Venue: “Etihad Stadium”, Melbourne.
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla from Bahrain.
Possible starting lineups of Australia and Japan
Australia: Mathew Ryan – Brad Smith, Matthew Spiranovic, Trent Sainsbury, Mark Milligan – Mile Jedinak – Robbie Kruse, Tom Rogic, Aaron Mooy, Mathew Leckie – Tomi Juric. (4-1-4-1)
Japan: Shusaku Nishikawa – Gotoku Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Masato Morishige, Hiroki Sakai – Makoto Hasebe, Hotaru Yamaguchi – Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda – Shinji Okazaki. (4-1-4-1)