FIFA World Cup Group H Picks - Poland vs. Japan Soccer Lines

True to form, Japan looks like it might qualify for the knockout round at this World Cup. Japan has alternated crashing out winless in the Group Stage with making it to the Round of 16 in its previous five appearances, and this time around they were due to make it out of the Group Stage. They are in great position to do so, only needing a result in their last match with Poland. However, the Poles aren’t a pushover and would love to get a win before exiting the World Cup.

The most anticipated sporting event in the world comes around once every four years, so don’t miss any of the 2018 World Cup. This match will take place at Volgograd Arena in Volgograd at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on FS1.

World Cup Group Stage Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu

Japan +156

Poland +212

Draw +205

Over/Under 2 and 2.5

Recent Form

This is not what Poland was expecting heading into the World Cup. They were ranked No. 8 in the world according to FIFA with many calling on them to win Group H, even though Colombia was the favorite. However, they are set to exit at the bottom of the group following two poor performances.

In their opening match, Poland were a bit unlucky against Senegal. A deflection off of Thiago Cionek led to an own goal and a 1-0 lead for their opponents, and then some more bad luck led to Poland falling behind 2-0. Poland was able to get a goal back after Grzegorz Krychowiak found the back of the net, but they were unable to grab a result. Things were worse in their next match though. Poland looked hapless against Colombia and only managed a few decent chances in a 3-0 loss.

Japan has been a bit fortunate, but the Samurai Blue have taken advantage of their chances too. They won their first game at the World Cup, picking up a big win over group favorites Colombia. They went up a man early on thanks to a handball in the box, and Shinji Kagawa converted the subsequent penalty. Colombia was able to level, but Yuya Osako was able to head home a corner to give Japan a 2-1 win.

They showed their mettle in the next match with a 2-2 draw against Senegal. Senegal went ahead 1-0 and 2-1 in the game, but Takashi Inui and Keisuke Honda were able to find goals to ensure the tie.

Player to Watch

It’s been an incredibly disappointing World Cup for Robert Lewandowski. A lot was expected from Lewandowski after his record setting run during qualifying. He scored 16 goals in 10 matches for Poland, and he was subsequently one of the top picks to win the Golden Boot.

However, he has been unable to get on the board. For the most part, he is not to blame. The midfielders have struggled to get him the ball in good positions, and they are largely firing deep balls forward in the hope that he can win them and make a play. He is also getting fouled often, and that has kept him from finding a rhythm.

Coaching Angle

Japan’s decision to put Akira Nishino in charge of their team back in April has paid off. The administration had fundamental differences with the former coach, so they brought in Nishino to make Japan a counterattacking side once more. It’s hard to argue with the results.

Nishino has also shown a willingness to change things up too. He pushed forward in hopes of a win against Senegal, looking to cement Japan’s position in the knockout round. It didn’t end up paying off, but they were able to pick up a draw regardless.

Free Soccer Betting Pick

With Japan only needing a draw in their last match, there is no reason for this team to do anything outside the norm. They will deploy their traditional counterattacking strategy and pick up the point they need.

World Cup Group Stage Odds: Japan 1, Poland 1

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