Japan Team Info – A Team Too Easily Dismissed
The 2022 World Cup will be Japan's 7th successive appearance at the competition. Since 1998, Japan has always featured in the World Cup, but before then they had never qualified. They were put into the AFC Group B qualifying group, where they had to face Australia, China, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. Their qualifying campaign got off to a shaky start, as they lost 2 out of their opening 3 games. After that, the Japanese team found their form and went on to win 6 games in a row, before drawing their final game against Vietnam. They scored 12 and conceded 4 goals in their 10 games, with midfielders Junya Ito and Kaoru Mitoma registering 4 and 2 goals, as well as their striker Yuya Osaka scoring 2.
After the retirement of Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda, and Shinji Kagawa, in 2018 and 2019, Japan lost three of their top goalscorers. Okazaki played as a striker, whilst Honda and Kagawa played in the midfield or as wingers. Yuya Osako currently fills the striker role, but at the age of 32, he will not be a long term solution for the team. They do have some gifted younger strikers such as Takuma Asano and Kyogo Furuhashi, who play in the German Bundesliga and the Scottish Premiership, but they have only scored 3 and 7 goals. Japan has a younger midfield, with players such as Kyogo Furuhashi, Takumi Minamino, Ritsu Doan, and Daichi Kamada all in their mid to late 20s. In defence, they have Yuto Nagatomo and Miki Yamane, who have played in 136 and 119 games for their country. In goal, they have Eiji Kawashima, who has 95 caps.
Costa Rica Team Info – An Inconsistent Team
Costa Rica will enter the World Cup for the sixth time, and though they have had some good performances in recent years, they had a particularly difficult qualification campaign. The rise of the Canadian team sent shockwaves through Central and North America, and Costa Rica almost paid the price, but they managed to secure some wins late in the qualifying round to finish in fourth place. This meant that they had to play in the inter-confederation playoff against New Zealand. Costa Rica won comfortably to ensure a place in the 2022 World Cup. Whilst some critics may argue that the Costa Rican team is an ageing one, which is true, they did eventually find their feet in the CONMEBOL qualification group. They beat the United States, Canada, and drew with Mexico in these last games.
The most valuable player in the Costa Rican side is their goalkeeper, Keylor Navas. Bryan Oviedo, Francisco Calvo, Oscar Duarte, and Giancarlo Gonzalez are all important defenders for the team, but they are all 30 years old or older. Their midfield has a similar dilemma, with captain Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges aged 37 and 34 years old. They do also have younger midfielders, such as Gerson Torres, Alonso Martinez, Randall Leal, and Allan Cruz. Joel Campbell is their main goalscorer, having netted 25 times in his 117 caps.
Japan vs Costa Rica Head-to-head
Japan has played against Costa Rica previously on 5 separate occasions. They won 4 of these matches and only drew once. Most recently, the two sides met in an international friendly in 2018, which Japan won 3-0.
Japan vs Costa Rica Betting Preview
Whilst Japan sit in the 24th place in the world rankings and Costa Rica sit in the 34th, the gap between the two teams may not be as big as most may think. Japan has the better track record against Costa Rica, and they have a better record in the World Cup, but Costa Rica is capable of making massive upsets. All of these factors will be advantageous if you want to bet on the game, as there will be long odds even on the most likely outcomes. Of course, if you are wary about making any risky bets, you can always turn to bets such as double chance or draw no bet, which cover more possible outcomes than simply betting on the result of the match.
Double chance is a bet on the match result, but you can bet on two out of the three possible outcomes. In the match between Japan and Costa Rica, you can bet on Japan to win or the two teams to draw, Costa Rica to win or the two teams to draw, or on either Japan to win or Costa Rica to win.
Draw No Bet
Draw no bet is a bet on which team will win the match. You will not need to worry if the game ends in a draw, as if it does then the bet will be made void and your stake will be returned to you, so you can simply pick whether you think Japan will win or Costa Rica will win.
Handicaps are bets on a team to win with a number of goals subtracted from their final score. The team will not only need to beat the other team but also win by at least the same margin as the handicap. Alternatively, you can pick a positive handicap which will be added to your chosen team’s final score. This will make it safer to bet on that team.
If you bet on Japan to beat Costa Rica with a handicap of -1.5 then you will need Japan to win the game by at least 2 goals or more. If you set a handicap of -1 on Japan, then you will also need Japan to score 2 goals or more, but if they only manage 1 then your money will be returned. This is because the score will then be level.
There is a third option of setting a handicap of -1.25 which is halfway between the two. The bet of -1.25 will take half your money and put it on a handicap of -1.5 and the other half on a bet on -1. If Japan wins by 2 goals or more then you will receive your full winnings. If Japan only wins the match by 1 goal, then you will receive half your stake back.
Over/Under Total Goals
You can bet on how many goals will be scored in the match between both Japan and Costa Rica with total goals bets. There will be numerous betting lines and you will simply have to select one and then bet on whether the game will end with over or under that number of goals. For example, if you think that the two sides will score numerous goals, you may wish to bet on over 3.5. If you think neither Japan nor Costa Rica will score multiple goals or any at all, you may wish to bet on under 1.5.
And Loads More
You will find no shortage of bets on the group match between Japan and Costa Rica, with markets on virtually every aspect of the match. Japan to score the first goal, Costa Rica to win the first half, either team to score in the first 5 minutes, Japan to score in both halves, both teams to score, Japan to win by a margin of 2, are just some of the many selections you will have at your disposal.
When you are betting on matches in the World Cup, it is always important to consider how much you spend. You should try to gamble responsibly and avoid going over your financial limits, as it can be extremely damaging. If you need some guidance on the topic, you can turn to organisations such as gambleaware.co.uk