- Japan v Costa Rica
- Sunday, November 27, 2022, 05:00 ET
- At the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Ar-Rayyan
Japan turned World Cup Group E on its head by beating Germany in their opening game and they are big favorites in the betting markets to win again on Sunday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks Japan are the favorites with bettors to win this game after their heroics against Germany. You can bet on Japan at -240 to win this game, while Costa Rica is rated as high as +775. And, if you think a draw is the best pick, you can back that outcome at +365.
|Japan v Costa Rica|
World Cup Group E Betting Briefing
Group E was supposed to be the ‘Group of Death’. The 2010 winners Spain and the 2014 winners Germany being drawn in the same Group seemed to leave little chance for Japan or Costa Rica to get through. But as so often happens in the opening round of World Cup games, expectations were turned upside down and the Group took an unexpected turn.
By beating Germany, Japan made a dramatic statement and gave themselves a great opportunity not just to qualify but to win the section. It wasn’t just the fact of their victory, but the manner of it that grabbed the headlines, as the underdogs mounted a spirited comeback and deservedly took the lead, before showing tremendous resilience to hang on for the win.
Costa Rica came into the tournament as the underdog of the Group, but their reputation for dogged defense meant that they could not be written off completely. That reputation was blown away in their opening game as they conceded seven against a rampant Spanish team.
Japan Makes a Statement
As a statement of intent, beating Germany 2-1 in your opening World Cup game is about as dramatic as it gets. Japan defied the odds, the FIFA rankings and most of the pre-tournament predictions to score a famous 2-1 win and shake up everyone’s Group E calculations.
Germany appeared to be fully in control at the halfway point, but not for the first time in this tournament, the second half developed in a completely different way after a manager made crucial changes during the interval. Hajime Moriyasu made some tactical switches and Japan began to play with the verve and energy they are known for in the second half.
Although they finished the game with only 26% possession, Japan showed great grit and determination to hold firm in the face of a relentless German onslaught and that resolution is a hugely positive sign.
They still have to face Spain, of course, but victory over Costa Rica would seal their qualification to the knockout stages with a game to spare and that has to be their aim here. On the other hand, defeat to the lowest-ranked team in the Group would pile the pressure back on.
Costa Rica Hit for Seven
Costa Rica may not have expected much from their opening game but a 7-0 thrashing by Spain was not on the agenda at all. Given their lack of firepower up front, they were always going to depend on keeping it tight at the back, but conceding an early goal appeared to knock the fight out of them completely.
This second game has now become a test of character for Costa Rica, as this is the one that they will have targeted as a potential victory before the tournament. However, in the short term, Luis Fernando Suarez will be focused on restoring some confidence and that is sure to mean an even stronger emphasis on defense, at least through the first half.
Their negative goal difference is likely to be a significant problem even if they can somehow scrape together three points from their last two games, but there is still pride to be played for and they will want to at least make a fight of the remainder of the Group stage.
World Cup Group E Match Betting
Moriyasu will be aware of the dangers of complacency and a drop in performance after the high of taking on and beating one of the best teams in the world in their opening game, and Japan cannot afford to take Costa Rica lightly, given their record for solidity.
Having qualified via the intercontinental playoffs, Costa Rica has had to get here the hard way but that is in keeping with their usual style of play. They conceded just eight goals in the entire CONCACAF qualifying tournament, so leaking seven in their opening World Cup game was a big shock.
Japan, however, is not on the same level of Spain, and Costa Rica has a much better chance of keeping these opponents out. There has been some overreaction in the markets after the opening round of games and the draw offers the best value in the match betting markets.