Japan remain in the hunt to qualify for the knockout stage for the second successive World Cup, and know that a victory will definitely seal their place in the next round irrespective of what happens in the other match of the group.
Japan and Spain will go head to head in a crucial Group G fixture, aiming to secure a spot in the knockouts of Qatar World Cup. Spain are currently occupying top spot in the group with four points to their name from two games, while the Samurai Blue are sitting one place behind them, with three points, level with third-placed Costa Rica, but separated by goal-difference. Surprisingly, Germany are languishing at the bottom with just a solitary point. Meanwhile, all four teams in the group are very much alive in the race to qualify for the last -16 stage. Japan started off their campaign with an historic 2-1 win over Germany, before losing to Costa Rica 1-0 on Sunday. La Roja, meanwhile, played out a 1-1 draw against Germany in their second outing, following a thumping 7-0 win in the first fixture.
🚨¡¡HOY NOS JUGAMOS EL PASE A OCTAVOS!!🚨
⚽ Japón – ESPAÑA
🏆 Tercera jornada de la Fase de Grupos de #Catar2022
🕘 20:00 (hora peninsular española)
🏟 Estadio Khalifa Internacional
✍️🏻 PREVIA: https://t.co/9eo8UJ4Lk7
#⃣ #VamosEspaña pic.twitter.com/I021i8ADWX
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) December 1, 2022
Japan have had an adventurous tournament thus far. After securing a come from behind victory over four-time champions Die Mannschaft in their opening match, many tipped the Asian powerhouse to take all three points against Costa Rica on Sunday. However, Keysher Fuller’s late strike denied Japan the opportunity to book a place in the last-16 with a game to spare. Hajime Moriyasu’s side remain in the hunt to qualify for the round of 16 stage for the second successive World Cup, and know that a victory will definitely seal their place in the next round irrespective of what happens in the other match of the group between Germany and Costa Rica.
Spain, on the other hand, have been in stunning form, having scored eight goals in two games, while conceding only once. Last time out, Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock against Germany with his second goal of the tournament. However, Die Mannschft restored parity in the 83rd minute courtesy of Niclas Fulkrug’s powerful shot from inside the box. The result meant that the qualification scenario will go down the wire. Luis Enrique’s side wil be confident of returning to winning ways on Thursday as they have never lost in the five previous meetings against Asian outfits.
Japan full-backs Takehiro Tomiyasu and Hiroke Sakai are sidelined with hamstring injuries, while midfielder Wataru Endo, is also doubtful for Thursday’s game because of a knee problem. Captain Maya Yoshida, who is set to earn his 125th international cap, would continue to marshall the back-four alongside Miki Yamnae, Ko Itakura and Yuto Nagatomo. Titsu Doan and Takuma Asan, who both scored against Germany, could be included in the starting eleven. As for Germany, midfielder Gavi, who gave a brilliant performance against Costa Rica, is having a hamstring issue and may be rested against the Samurai Blue. Therefore either of Koke, Marcus Soler or Marcus Llorente could join Segio Busquets and Pedri the the engine room.
Japan probable starting lineups: Gonda, Yamane, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Tanaka, Morita, Doan, Kamada, Kubo, Maeda,
Spain probable starting lineup: Simon, Carvajal, P. Torres, Laporte, Alba, Koke, Ridri, Pedri, F Torres, Morata, Olmo
|Costa Rica||0-1 (L)|
|Costa Rica||7-0 (W)|
|Spain beat Japan||1-0|
The FIFA World Cup match between Japan and Spain will take place at Khalifa International Stadium on Friday at 12:30 am IST.
|Japan vs Spain||Key Details|
|Venue||Khalifa international Stadium|
|Kickoff time in India||12:30 am (Friday)|
|Kickoff time in Japan||4:00 am (Thursday)|
|Kickoff time in Spain||8:00 pm (Thursday)|
|Kickoff time in Qatar||10:00 pm (Thursday)|
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar can be seen on Sports18 – 1 SD & HD – in India. Sports 18 will be telecasting the games on the regular and HD Channels. Besides, Viacom18 Sports announced that Jio Cinema will live-stream all the World Cup games. Besides, the match between Japan and Spain can be seen on Fuji TV and AbemaTV in Japan; and fubotv Espana, Gol Mundial andTVE La 2 in Spain.