Japan vs Croatia Prediction, Odds and Betting Tips – 2022 World Cup: Who Will Win?

Japan vs Croatia Prediction and Betting Odds
TournamentFIFA World Cup 2022 - Round of 16
TimetableMonday 5th December at 15:00 GMT
PredictionJapan to Win!
OddsJapan to Win @ 4.00
BookmakerTonyBet Sports
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Odds : 4.00
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On Monday, 5th December at 15:00 GMT, World Cup underdogs Japan will take on the 2018 finalists Croatia in the tournament’s fifth round of 16 clash at the Al-Janoub Stadium.

In many ways, 24th ranked Japan have been the surprise story of the World Cup, recording superb victories against former tournament winners Germany and Spain to qualify from an incredibly difficult Group E.

The comeback, 2-1 win over Spain saw Japan showcase the same spirit and intensity that characterised the victory against the Germans, while it also emanated Hansi Flick’s team at the group stage for the second consecutive tournament.

As for Croatia, they used all their experience and knowhow to edge second place in Group F, initially drawing 0-0 with Morocco before showcasing their class to defeat Canada 4-1.

They then managed to eliminate Belgium following a tense 0-0 draw in Al Rayyan, and will be confident of ending Japan’s journey and reaching the quarterfinals once again. Let’s see what the latest FIFA World Cup Betting odds have to say about this!

💯 Japan vs Croatia Betting Odds

We’ll get straight into the most popular wagering markets offered by our recommended betting sites, including match betting, backing both sides to score and the over/under market for total goals scored in the game.

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🏅 Japan vs Croatia Odds: Match Winner

The most popular World Cup betting market requires you to pick a match winner, so let’s check out the very latest Japan vs Croatia odds!

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Japan to Win4.004.004.004.003.703.803.90
Croatia to Win2.152.112.112.052.002.052.00
Draw3.303.253.303.003.133.103.25

⚽ Japan vs Croatia Odds: Both Teams to Score

You can also place a wager on whether you think both sides will score or not during the game, either in the 90 minutes or a period of extra time. Let’s take a look at the latest prices here:

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Yes2.051.982.051.911.932.001.91
No1.801.831.801.801.801.731.80

🥅 Japan vs Croatia Odds: Over/Under 2.5 Goals

When you’re betting on the total number of goals that will be scored during the game, most bookies offer an over/under market with a threshold of 2.5 goals. Here’s the latest, real-time prices!

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Over 2.5 Goals2.402.372.372.202.302.352.10
Under 2.5 Goals1.631.631.571.621.601.531.67

🏠 Japan Preview

Despite being ranked in the top 30 in the world by FIFA, Japan were given no chance of qualifying from Group E prior to the tournament. After all, both Spain and Germany were in their way, with these sides both ranked in the top 11 and boasting five World Cup triumphs between them.

However, despite a passive first half against Germany in their first game that saw the Japanese trail 1-0, they played with more intensity and intent in the second half, while substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored subsequent goals to secure the nation’s most famous World Cup win.

Despite this, the team subsequently struggled to break down a compact Costa Rican and succumbed to a late goal in a 1-0 defeat, which left their qualification hopes in the balance ahead of the winner-takes-all clash with Spain.

Incredibly, Japan endured another disappointing first half that resulted in a 1-0 deficit at the break, but half-time substitute Doan once again sparked a resurgence. Japan had overturned the deficit within six minutes of the second-half (thanks in part to a controversial second goal), and they hung on to record another famous WC win and seal their place in the last 16.

📰 Latest Japan World Cup News

☍ Croatia Preview

Despite the advancing age of their squad (midfield maestro Luka Modric turned 37 this year), Croatia boast a wealth of experience and pedigree in their ranks, and leveraged all of this to qualify for the round of 16 without really getting out of first gear.

For example, they were tentative and compact in their opening game against Morocco, with the North African side doing most of the running in the Qatar heat and humidity. The game ultimately ended 0-0, before the Croats took on Canada at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.

This game was a stroll for Croatia, who despite falling behind early to a bullet header by Alphonso Davies, ran out 4-1 winners after playing some delightful football as the game wore on.

Croatia were in pole position to qualify from this point on, and they duly delivered another mature and restrained performance to secure the point they needed with a 0-0 draw against Belgium. Once again, they’ve reached the last 16 with the minimum of fuss, and will remain dangerous for as long as they’re in the draw.

📰 Latest Croatia World Cup News

🟨 The Latest Injury News and Suspensions

For Japan, bustling midfielder Ao Tanaka returned to the first 11 against Spain, leading his side’s press in the second half while bundling in the winner from Kaoru Mitoma’s cross (although there remains controversy about whether or not the ball went out of play in the build-up).

He’ll likely keep his place against Croatia, as will Takefus Kubo and striker Daizen Meda. However, there’s a growing clamour for both Ritsu Doan and Mitoma to also start after their impacts from the bench against both Germany and Spain, and Daichi Kamada could be one of the players to make way.

In defence, Shogo Taniguchi is expected to start over Miki Yamane on the right side of the defence, although centre back Ko Itakura picked up a yellow card against Spain so the Borussia Monchengladbach players will miss out on Monday.

The Croats have new such injury or suspension concerns, and manager Zlatko Dalić is likely to make minimal changed despite his side’s largely underwhelming performances during the tournament so far.

This means starts for veterans Modric and Ivan Perisic, while the bustling Mateo Kovacic will provide some much-needed energy and dynamism against what’s proven to be a highly mobile Japanese midfield.

Andrej Kramaric will also play on the right of a three-man attack, regularly interchanging position with lively striker Marko Livaja. This partnership could prove pivotal for Croatia, especially if Modric is able to gain control of the midfield and provide the pair with viable service.

🏆 Key Matchups

If we see the Japan side that played in the second half against both Germany and Spain, we’re likely to witness some incredible duals all over the pitch in this round of 16 clash.

But which are the key battles that are most likely to decide the outcome of this match? Let’s find out!

Kaoru Mitoma vs Josip Juranović

Brighton’s Mitoma has impressed whenever he has stepped onto the pitch at this World Cup, with his pace and constant movement (along with his sheer tenacity) crucial to assisting the winning goal against Spain.

Interestingly, it will be Celtic’s right back Josip Juranović in his way if Mitoma is rewarded with a well-earned start against Croatia, and this could be a fascinating battle that runs throughout the right-hand side of the pitch.

Certainly, Juranović likes to drive forward consistently too, while Mitoma is a fierce runner and hard worker who will track him throughout the game. The defender will have to watch out for Mitoma’s tricky movement inside too, especially if Japan are able to get a foothold in the game.

Ultimately, whoever dominates this flank will help to afford their side control and a constant attacking outfit, which could prove crucial over the course of the game.

Hidemasa Morita vs Mateo Kovacic

Sporting Lisbon’s Hidemasa Morita is a mainstay as Japan’s defensive midfield presence, and he’ll most likely have his hands full against a typically compact and technical able Croatian midfield.

He’ll certainly have to be mindful of the athleticism and strong running of Chelsea and former Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who regularly leads the press when out of possession and drives forward consistently with the ball.

So, the 27-year-old Morita will need all of his positional awareness and experience to plug gaps in the middle of the park, tracking Kovacic where possible and keeping an eye on the roving Luka Modric.

The latter likes to find pockets of space between the midfield and attacking lines, and it will Morita who’s tasked with closing such pockets down.

Maya Yoshida vs Marko Livaja

We’ll close with the dual between Japan captain Maya Yoshida (who players at centre back) and Croatia striker Marko Livaja, which will see the former make his 126th appearance for his country (he has also scored 12 international goals).

Interestingly, this is more than forward Livaja, although the 29-year-old only has 17 caps to his name and has four goals to his name to date.

While the former Southampton centre back Yoshida is now 34, he retains tremendous positional awareness and strength, and there’s no doubt he’ll look to physically dominate Livaja and close down his space in the final third.

For Livaja, of course, the task will be to isolate Yoshida and spin into the space behind, while he’ll also look to create overloads with Andrej Kramaric within the width of the 18-yard-box.

⚡Japan vs Croatia – The Head-to-Head Statistics

Of course, Croatia only became an independent nation state in the early 1990s, and it didn’t make its formal tournament debut until Euro ’96 in England.

The Croats first game against Japan came in June 1997, when they lost 4-3 in a thriller during the Kirin Japan Cup. This was a fascinating prelude to the second clash almost exactly 12 months later, which came in Group H of the World Cup finals in France.

A star-studded Croatia side featuring Robert Prosinecki, Slaven Bilic and Davor Suker secured a crucial 1-0 victory here (the latter struck a 78th-minute winner in Nantes), with the team progressing to the semi-finals before being eliminated by hosts and eventual winners France.

The team also met eight years later in the finals in Germany, in a tense Group F clash that ultimately finished 0-0. While Croatia created the best of the chances, they were frustrated by a resolute Japan side, while both sides were ultimately eliminated and failed to reach the round of 16.

🥇 Japan vs Croatia Prediction - Who Will Win?

This is a really tough match to call, as while Croatia boast a wealth of experience and technical ability in their side, they’ve failed to showcase any kind of form or quality during the tournament so far.

Conversely, Japan have produced two blistering halves of football against Germany and Spain respectively, and there’s no doubt that while they look to manage games and play within themselves at times, they press with incredible cohesion and intensity when they’re motivated too.

They also have technical quality in abundance too, and will undoubtedly put Croatia under pressure for periods of the game.

We see this clash going into extra-time, with the question being whether Croatia have the legs and intensity to live with Japan when they’re put under pressure. We’re going to back enthusiasm to overcome experience at the Al-Janoub Stadium, with Japan continuing their historic run at the FIFA World Cup!

Our Japan vs Croatia match prediction: Japan to win 1-0.

🔍 Our Japan vs Croatia Betting Tips?

Croatia are clearly the bookmakers’ favourites here, but given that we’ve backed Japan to get the win here, there’s ample value in backing the AFC nation to win at 4.00 with a variety of our sportsbooks (including TonyBet, BoyleSports and Palm Slots Sports).

If you’re a genuine football betting enthusiast, we’d also recommend on there being under 2.5 goals scored in the game. After all, both sides are likely to be cautious at the outset and neither are prolific, and you can get on this market at 1.67 with William Hill Sport.

Similarly, you could bet on both sides not scoring in the game (either during the 90 minutes or extra time), with this market available at a price of 1.83 with Palm Slots Sports.

If you’re a genuine football betting enthusiast, we’d also recommend on there being under 2.5 goals scored in the game.

🎁 Japan vs Croatia World Cup Free Bets

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✒️ Lewis Humphries - Sports Journalist, Tipster and Betting Expert

Lewis Humphries

This Japan vs Croatia Prediction was written by Lewis Humphries. Lewis is a business and iGaming copywriter from the UK, who has a passion for sports betting and online casino gaming. He's reviewed some of the world's leading casino platforms, while creating blog posts and landing page content for various sports betting brands.

His content has also featured on a number of different sites, including Life Hack, Investopedia, Yahoo Finance and Business Insider. He also pens regular sports features for sites including 90 Minutes, Think Football Ideas and Sportsblog.

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