QATAR WORLD CUP 2022 – Spain vs Japan 0-0 Group Stage Final
After drawing against Germany by 1-1, Luis Enrique’s side will play their last group stage fixture against Japan. Both teams have faced each other for the first time in a mega event.
Talking about Japan first, they continued to be an exciting team to watch as they secured all three points against Germany in the opening fixture. But in their second fixture, they lost against Costa Rica when a win over them could’ve booked their spot in the next round. They missed their chance to qualify after the Costa Rica fixture and now sit second at the table with three points in two games, the same as third-ranked Costa Rica. In their final group stage fixture, they’ll play against Spain and would like to replicate the performance they showed against Germany.
Japan could qualify even with a draw, but only if Germany fails to overcome Costa Rica by two goals, which is unlikely to happen. However, a win would confirm their place in the Round of 16.
Japan Probable Starting XI (3-4-3):
Gonda, Itakura, Yoshida, H Ito, Yamane, Endo, Tanaka, Nagatomo, J Ito, Asano, Kamada
Kawashima, Schmidt, Taniguchi, Morita, Shibasaki, Minamino, Maeda, Soma, Kubo, Doan, Machino, Ueda, Mitoma
On the other hand, World Cup favourites Spain started their World Cup with a massive victory over Costa Rica, an opponent they had scored seven times against. However, they drew against Germany in their second group stage fixture when a win over them could’ve eliminated their fellow European giants. With one win and a draw, they sit at the top of the table with four points in two games and their final group stage fixture, they will play against Japan, an exciting team to watch, who beat Germany in their opening game, so there is no reason Luis Enrique will be taking them lightly.
Alvaro Morata is expected to start a World Cup match for the first time in his career against Japan. And after starting the first two games, Enrique will most likely give a rest to 18-year-old Gavi and replace him with Koke, who substituted him against Germany. He talked to the press ahead of this fixture and said:
“Our only strategy is to go out and win the next game against Japan. We’ve always done it. You do the math on how the classification would look, but our idea is to respect our opponent by going in to win the games. It’s the only way to prepare for the game and qualify.”
Spain Probable Starting XI (4-3-3):
Simon, Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Alba, Pedri, Busquets, Koke, F Torres, Morata, Olmo
Sanchez, Raya, P Torres, Garcia, Balde, Azpilicueta, Guillamon, Llorente, Gavi, Soler, Fati, Williams, Pino, Sarabia, Asensio
Spain vs Japan Match Facts:
* Location: Al-Rayyan, Qatar
* Venue: Khalifa International Stadium
* Date: 1 December, Thursday
* Kick-off Time: 19:00 GMT / 14:00 ET / 11:00 PT
Spain vs Japan Conclusion:
Though Spain only needs a point to book their spot in the round of 16, it is expected that it goes all in against Japan and finish the group as toppers; on the other hand, Japan can go through with a draw as well, but that scenario is unlikely to happen, so they’ll enter the field with all their guns blazing against Spain in their final group stage game.