Nobody expected Japan to beat both Spain and Germany to stamp their ticket to the Round of 16. Most believed Croatia would finish second in their group, but they didn’t think the Croatians would finish second to Morocco. On Monday, the two knockout stage squads clash when Luka Modric leads Croatia against Ritsu Doan and Japan. Will Croatia move to their second straight quarterfinal? Or will Japan get it done? Check out FIFA World Cup Odds, analysis, and a free pick for Japan versus Croatia.
2022 FIFA World Cup Betting Analysis: Japan vs Croatia Matchup
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Round of 16 – Japan versus Croatia
- When: Monday, Dec. 5 at 10:00 am ET
- Where: Al Janoub Stadium
- TV/Streaming: FOX
Why Japan is a good play versus Croatia
Sure, the Japanese failed in a match against Costa Rica. However, no doubt, the Japanese suffered a bounce versus Los Ticos after the stunning come from behind late victory against Germany.
How else to explain Japan stepping onto the pitch and providing a winning effort versus one of the favorites to win it all, Spain? Yes, the second goal was controversial, but the future tech system FIFA is using in this tournament allowed it.
If Japan can beat Spain and Germany, they can most definitely get by Croatia.
Japan Last 5
- W – 2-1 vs. Spain
- L – 0-1 vs. Costa Rica
- W – 1-2 vs. Germany
- L – 1-2 vs. Canada
- D – 0-0 vs. Ecuador
Japan Predicted Starting Lineup
Why Croatia is a good play versus Japan
Croatia plays the type of style that leads to World Cup success. The Croatians drew 0-0 versus Morocco. Then, they blasted Canada 4-1 after yielding the first goal.
The win over Canada is especially telling because the Croatians didn’t push in the attack. Instead, they capitalized on Canada’s mistakes.
Versus Belgium, the Croatians were flexible again, this time playing for a draw. With Luka Modric running things, it should be difficult for any team to get by Croatia, much less an inexperienced WC nation like Japan.
Croatia Last 5
- D – 0-0 vs. Belgium
- W – 4-1 vs. Canada
- D – 0-0 vs. Morocco
- W – 0-1 vs. Saudi Arabia
- W – 1-3 vs. Austria
Croatia Predicted Starting Lineup
Final Betting Analysis: Japan vs Croatia
The Japanese are a good team, but this is a bad matchup. Unlike Spain and Germany, Croatia has the perfect mix of World Cup experience in players like Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, and Luka Modric and top young talent like 25-year-old Torino midfielder Nikola Vlasic.
Japan is a tough squad. But Modric will ensure the Croatians don’t play out of control. The runner ups should be in charge from the outset.
Croatia won’t push too hard and wait for Japan to make an error. Eventually, the Japanese, because they are much younger, will make a critical mistake that leads to a Croatian goal. Croatia winning this 1-0 is the prediction.
World Cup Pick: Croatia