Poland entered the 2018 World Cup as a trendy dark horse pick. With superstar scoring machine Robert Lewandowski they were considered a threat to surprise. Beyond that Poland seemed to have gotten lucky with its Group H draw. In fact, Japan, Senegal and Colombia looked beatable. Unfortunately, the Poles have failed to meet bet the World Cup expectations. They are eliminated from the knockout stage after two winless matches. Also, Lewandowski has failed to score. It’s been a true debacle. And there is an alternate surprise team in the fold. Japan has confounded experts with a win and a draw.
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 SBG:
|Poland||-½ (-105)||2½ (+107)|
|Japan||+½ (-110)||2½ (-122)|
Japan vs. Poland TV Coverage: FS1
Japan’s Road to Russia
Japan was written off for dead in April. That is because of their decision to fire coach Vahid Halihodzic. With just two months to prepare 63 year old Akira Nishino was named as the new manager. Nishino is a veteran of the J League. It was a tall task to say the least. Also, two months is next to nothing in preparation time for the World Cup. Yet Nishino looks to be up to the task. He prefers an attacking yet responsible style. And so far, the Samurai Blue have found that perfect balance. Their bet the World Cup success is no fluke.
Japan’s Impressive Skills
Japan has an experienced group of players that Nishino has implemented to perfection. The new manager promised a “Japanese style of play.” Speed, agility, hard work and endurance are the ingredients. Halilhodzic lost the team due to his dictatorial ways. He refused to allow individual expression. Nishino has not made the same mistake. Instead he insists upon his players being themselves. The coach has expressed confidence in his veteran players. They in turn have played without fear. While also seizing the initiative.
Japan so Far
Japan set the new sportsbook tone immediately in their opener. In fact, the Samurai Blue scored a thrilling 2-1 win over Colombia. Yuya Osako scored the winning goal on a header at the 73 minute mark. In their second match Japan earned a 2-2 draw with Senegal. Furthermore, Keisuke Honda got the equalizer at the 78 minute point.
Poland so Far
Poland lost their opener to Senegal 2-1. The Poles avoided a shutout with a late goal at the 86 minute spot. Colombia totally demoralized Poland 3-0 in the next match. With the defeat the White and Reds were eliminated from the Round of 16. They were the first seeded team to crash out of the tournament. Naturally, humiliation is truly complete. And a meaningless win over Japan won’t ease the pain.
After a quarterfinal run in the 2016 Euro this is a stunning setback. As for the celebrated Lewandowski he has come up empty. On the world’s biggest stage, he has been rendered helpless. Consequently, Poland has much to re-assess after this catastrophe.
Matchup to Watch
Demoralized Poland is a strange Bet the World Cup chalk in this match. Japan is playing far better. And has much more on the line. The Samurai Blue have a shot at the knockout stage. They hold the motivational edge. Not to mention a higher confidence level.
Bet the World Cup: World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Japan should continue its Cinderella run to the round of 16!
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Japan
World Cup Betting Online Score Prediction: Japan 1, Poland 0
Catch highlights of Japan’s draw with Senegal!