Japan vs. Paraguay / International – One of participants of the World Cup in Russia, Japan, will face Paraguay, which will skip the World Cup for the second time in a row, on Tuesday evening in Innsbruck. The friendly is part of Japan’s preparations for the World Cup. The two teams met the last time eight years ago and Japan won the friendly played at home by 1-0, while a bit earlier that year the Paraguayans won their round of 16 match at the World Cup in South Africa after penalty shootout. Begins: 12.06.2018 – 15:05 CET
The Japanese haven’t forgotten the defeat and will definitely have enough motives to try to win in Innsbruck, especially as victory is very much needed for raising their self-confidence ahead of the first match in Russia. Japan national team lost last three friendlies to Ukraine, Ghana and Switzerland, and it seems that sudden replacement of manager Halilhodzic that took place near the end of March didn’t bring much good.
True, his successor Hishino didn’t have much time to set the team according to his vision, especially as several important players are injured, but now against Paraguay he should have at disposal all the best players and we expect that Japan plays much better. The match is the last test before going to Russia, where Japan shares the group with Columbia, Senegal and Poland.
Probable lineups Japan: Nakamura – H. Sakai, Yoshida, Makino, Nagatomo – Hasebe, Shibasaki – Honda, Kagawa, Inui – Okazaki
We have said in the introduction that Paraguay played at the World Cup in South Africa eight years ago when it made its best result in history right after victory over Japan, given that the Paraguayans reached the quarter-finals. After that, they played badly qualifications for the World Cup in Brazil, while in previous qualifications they were in the race for the fifth place, which led to the play-off, till the last round but they unexpectedly lost the key match to Venezuela 1-0.
In that way Paraguay needed just two more points to reach the World Cup in Russia and it was quite expected that manager Arce gets fired right after the qualifications. Moringo was named as a temporary replacement, who is manager of junior national team. Under him Paraguay lost friendly in March to the USA 1-0, and this is his chance to make it up to Paraguay football fans.
Probable lineups Paraguay: Aguilar – Valdez, Gomez, Balbuena, Alonso – O. Romero, Ortiz, Rojas, Gamarra – Sanabria, Santander
Japan – Paraguay PICK
Although Paraguay is better ranked in the FIFA list we should bear in mind that the Japanese are in much better shape at the moment thanks to preparations for the World Cup. On the other hand the Paraguayans are not going to Russia and consequently we have decided to give advantage in this friendly to the team from Asia.
Pick: Asian handicap 0 Japan
Odds: 1.80 at 10bet (down to 1.75 can be played)