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|Match Result and Total Goals||Odds|
|Japan and Over 2.5||+1100
|Draw and Over 2.5||+1400
|Brazil and Over 2.5||+100
The Selecao should have too much quality going forward for South Korea, but the home team can find the net.
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In the end it was not particularly close. South Korea hoped that home advantage would serve them well when they hosted Brazil on Thursday, but the Selecao ran riot in Seoul. As we predicted, the Koreans did manage to get on the scoresheet. But that was the only positive they could take from a 5-1 thrashing which served as further justification for Brazil’s present status as the favorites to win the 2022 World Cup.
The scoreline was an accurate reflection of the game. Brazil were dominant throughout. Hwang Ui-jo did manage to breach their backline after half an hour of play, but Tite’s side were otherwise defensively secure throughout. This was not just down to the back four but to the entire team: Brazil’s pressing was sharp and well-coordinated, and South Korea struggled to deal with it virtually from the first whistle.
The most impressive aspect of the display was Brazil’s attacking output. Cynics might point to the fact that both of Neymar’s goals were from the penalty spot, but it is no coincidence that the Paris Saint-Germain forward often looks more comfortable playing for his country than his club. He has a good on-field relationship with Lucas Paqueta, while Richarlison and Raphinha remain valuable for the national team despite being involved in a Premier League relegation battle last season.
South Korea might not be world-beaters, but they are a decent side. The emphatic manner in which Brazil registered their fourth victory of 2022 was therefore noteworthy. Tite will not rest on his laurels, though. He will want to see a similar display in Tokyo on Monday, and the players he selects for this match – the Brazil boss is likely to make several chances to his starting XI – will be determined to make a statement of their own.
While Iran and Saudi Arabia remain the teams to beat in the western part of the continent, Japan and South Korea have long been the kings of East Asian soccer.
The Samurai Blue will hope to fare much better against Brazil than the Taeguk Warriors did, but they will also be underdogs against a team who have the bit between their teeth right now.
Japan never looked like finishing outside the top two of Group B in the Asian section of World Cup qualification. They missed out on first place in the end, finishing with one point fewer than Saudi Arabia, but a seven-point advantage over Australia in third showed how comfortable Japan were for most of the campaign.
Most impressive was their concession of just four goals in 10 matches. They will need to replicate that defensive solidity if they are to have any chance of upsetting Brazil here.
The main question mark surrounding Hajime Moriyasu’s men is in attack. Japan have long struggled to produce top-class center-forwards. Youngsters in the country are unusual for tending to admire midfield technicians over prolific goalscorers. Japan found the net only 12 times in those 10 qualifiers, although they did hit four goals past Paraguay in a one-sided friendly on Thursday.
One of the reasons why Brazil are so fancied to lift the trophy in Qatar is the strength in depth they have virtually all over the pitch. Perhaps only France can match the Selecao for the number of different options they have in different positions. The likes of Vinicius Junior, Gabriel Jesus, Rodrygo, Fabinho, Alisson Becker and Eder Militao were left out of the starting XI against South Korea. All of them ply their trade at club level for Manchester City, Liverpool or Champions League winners Real Madrid, arguably the three best teams in Europe.
Japan will probably make a better fist of this game than South Korea. That is not to say they are necessarily a better side, but they are superior in midfield and should have more success in keeping the ball away from Brazil at times. We can still expect Tite’s side to dominate possession, but Japan are a technically proficient team who will show that they too can play good soccer.
Overall, though, Brazil should have too much quality for Moriyasu’s side. We would recommend a victory for the Selecao in another game featuring more than 2.5 goals. Brazil are scoring goals for fun right now, while Japan will draw confidence from the four they notched against Paraguay last time out.
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|Japan vs Brazil Information|
|Teams||Japan vs Brazil|
|Location||Japan National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan|
|Time||Monday, 6 June 2022, 6.20 AM EDT|
|How to watch||beIN Sports|
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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