This year’s World Cup will be Japan's seventh appearance at the tournament, and they will hope to produce a similar performance to the one that saw them progress to the round of 16 in Russia. Inform your bets ahead of the 2022 World Cup with the Japan team preview from Pinnacle.
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World Cup 2022: Japan preview
The Samurai Blue have never bettered their achievement in Russia in 2018, but after a relatively routine qualifying campaign, they will hope to qualify from Group E, despite it containing Germany and Spain, who have both won the World Cup before.
Read on to inform your predictions for Japan at World Cup 2022.
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World Cup 2022: Japan's key stats
Manager: Hajime Moriyasu
Key player: Maya Yoshida
FIFA World Ranking (at time of writing): 24th
Recent performances: World Cup 2018 – Round of 16, World Cup 2014 – Group Stage
Odds to win Group E: 10.800 (+980)*
Odds to win World Cup 2022: 253.240 (+25224)*
World Cup 2022: Japan schedule
All times listed are CET (Central European Time).
November 23, 14:00: Germany vs. Japan
November 27, 11:00: Japan vs. Costa Rica
December 01, 20:00: Japan vs. Spain
World Cup 2022: How will Japan fare in Group E?
Japan have not been given an easy ride ahead of this year’s tournament, after being drawn in the same group as European giants Spain and Germany.
Both sides are considered contenders to lift the trophy, so Japan will need to pull off some surprising results in order to progress.
With Costa Rica also in Group E, Japan should have what it takes to secure at least one win, but they may need to pick up a point elsewhere to have any chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
World Cup 2022: An analysis of Japan's squad
Japan's World Cup squad will be relatively experienced, with at least four of their players already making 70 appearances for their country.
Captain Maya Yoshida, who is well-known for his spell in the Premier League with Southampton, currently plays in the Bundesliga for Schalke 04 and he will lead by example from the back.
Japan's forwards are relatively inexperienced, but at the same time, there is plenty of excitement for the fans to see what Celtic duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda can do.
Goals and an attacking threat from midfield will also be important, with Genki Haraguchi and Takumi Minamino offering that in abundance.
World Cup 2022: What tactics will Japan use?
Japanese football has previously been built around defensive solidity, but Moriyasu is a coach who likes to let his players express themselves.
Even though they have shown more attacking flair recently, they have not lost that defensive steel, highlighted by keeping a clean sheet in each of their previous five games.
In his team's recent 0-0 draw with Ecuador in a friendly, Moriyasu deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation and he is expected to continue with that in Qatar.
World Cup 2022: Is there value in Japan's odds?
Japan's odds of winning Group E and the World Cup are realistic and they should be considered outsiders in both markets.
They are 1.769 (-130)* to claim Over 2.5 points in the Total Points in Group Stage market, which looks like a sensible bet considering they will fancy their chances of beating a Costa Rica team that are currently seven places below them in the FIFA world rankings.
Japan are 3.500 (+250)* to advance from the group, but it is hard to back them with any conviction after being drawn with Spain and Germany.
Don't forget to read our previews for all 32 teams at World Cup 2022 where you can find in-depth analysis of each team competing in Qatar.