China and Japan will feature in maybe the most interesting match of the entire international break. Both sides are coming into this event following losses, and they didn’t start this stage of the qualifiers well at all. On top of that, these two sides are fierce rivals, and we can say that this is more than just an ordinary match for either team. Japan is the favorite, but despite that, China has its own ambitions, especially because they play at home.
China (+1200) is a massive underdog in this one, but we won’t be quite sure about those odds. Particularly after Oman’s win in Japan from a few days ago. Li Tie’s side allowed two quick goals in the first half against Australia, who netted in the 24th and the 26th minute, blitzing the rivals and continuing without any pressure.
This was the first failure for the Chinese side after five straight victories, during which they allowed one and scored 19 goals. It was the run that allowed them to become the best second-placed team in the Asian part of the qualifiers and advance to this stage.
When mentioning Li Tie, he replaced Marcelo Lippi as the head coach, following the Italian’s resignation. May we just add that since that moment, China recorded those five wins.
Japan (-500) had six triumphs in a row before a shocking loss at home to Oman. It is something that just a few die-hard Oman fans hoped, as the odds on their win sat at +1900 before the kickoff, and that is ludacris.
Some two minutes before the end of the regular time, Al Sabhi scored a goal, which shocked the whole of Japan, leaving the hosts in disbelief. There wasn’t enough time until the end for anything to be done, and that is why the Samurai come to China with just one thing on their mind – three points.
Japan usually doesn’t have any problems when playing against the Asian teams, and their goal difference in the last four matches of the previous stage of the qualifiers was 33-2. For instance, they had wins 10-0 against Myanmar and 0-14 in Mongolia.
All the players on the Chinese team are ready for this event.
The big blow for the Japanese side is Takumi Minamino’s injury. Liverpool’s forward won’t be in the protocol for this match, leaving a big void in the offensive line.
Head to Head Games
With 15 wins, China has a slight edge over Japan, who has 14. The remaining eight games were without winners after 90 minutes.
Japan is the massive favorite because they are a better team here, and we believe that they won’t have any trouble defeating the Chinese side. What we don’t like here is the low profit on their victory, which is the reason for a slight change in the final pick. We are suggesting to invest in Japan’s win with -1.5-goal handicap. The odds on that are -125, significantly higher than before, with the risk still not presenting a concern.