Paraguay vs Japan – betting tips, match preview and prediction

World Cup BettingParaguay plays Japan in the first 1/8-final on Tuesday at 15:00 BST in Pretoria. The South Americans won their group to progress to the knockout stage with impressive defensive play, while the Japanese somewhat surprising finished in second in their group after wins against strong opponents like Cameroon and Denmark. Although most experts do not fancy either team at the World Cup, it could prove to be an interesting and even match-up this afternoon.

Match Preview

From the looks of it, Japan will have a hard time beating the South Americans that is if you look at the statistics alone. No Asian side has ever won against a South American opponent at the World Cup so far, with 12 loses and two draws. Nevertheless, the Japanese could change the poor statistics later today after impressing play at the group stage. The Japanese side has been one of the nicest surprises in the tournament and not many expected them to qualify for the knockout stage. But with impressing football they have proven the experts wrong and especially their free-kick expertise and quick passing game shined against Denmark in their 3-1 win to qualify for the match today.

On the other hand Paraguay was expected to reach the 1/8-final and with Italy’s poor performance they had an easy way to the first place in group F. At the same time the defensive qualities have been the only thing shining from the Paraguayans in South Africa so far, although impressively so, by conceding only one goal in three matches. We hopefully will see more from Paraguay’s attack today, which could be expected to produce more chances with quality offensive players like Oscar Cardozo, Lucas Barrios and Roque Santa Cruz.

A quick note says either side could make World Cup history in the match as well. As qualification to the quarter-finals would be a first for both Japan and Paraguay.

Team Updates

So far the Japanese has been using the same starting eleven for three matches in a row and we do not expect coach Takeshi Okada to change a winning line-up for match today. Their only worry is defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka, who is doubtful for the match after a light injury against Denmark, but is said to fit enough to play at the moment.

Key midfielder Victor Caceres is banned for Paraguay, which mean Carlos Bonet is expected to deputize against Japan. Only doubtful player is Antolin Alcaraz, who was also missing in the game against New Zealand. However, he is expected to overcome his injury.

Paraguay vs Japan betting tip

Our betting pick is a draw to odds 3.20 at 888 Sports

Paraguay and Japan have played each other six times before. The Paraguayans have won two fixtures and Japan one, while a total of three games ended in a draw. The two sides have both impressed most with their defensive qualities so far and neither team is expected to take chances in the match today. We predict a very tactical game with two sides focusing on not making any mistakes in defence, while hoping to score a goal on free-kick or counterattack. Our match prediction will be 0-0 or 1-1 and likely a penalty shootout could decide the winner in the end.

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