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Japan vs Uruguay Predictions

Published on 10:30am GMT 24 March 2023

  • 10:30
  • Expired
  • National Stadium, Tokyo
Japan
Uruguay

Japan to Win

Reason for tip

Japan avoided defeat against three top-15 FIFA-ranked teams at last year’s World Cup, and they appear to offer excellent value against a depleted Uruguay team. Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez, Ronald Araujo, Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Rodrigo Bentancur and Fernando Muslera are among the Celeste’s big-name absentees for this fixture.

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Japan 1-0

Reason for tip

Uruguay had failed to net in three of their last five games even before losing Cavani, Suarez and Nunez. The managerless visitors may fail to land a blow on a Japan side which can boast three successive home clean sheets, with only Tunisia and Brazil beating them on Japanese soil in 11 games since September 2021.

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Japan vs Uruguay Predictions

  • Japan have only lost two of their last 10 matches, beating Spain and Germany and taking Croatia to penalties in their memorable World Cup run.
  • Uruguay, meanwhile, have lost over 10 regular players to international retirement, injury or suspension since the World Cup.
  • The Celeste – still without a permanent coach – have failed to net in three of their last five games, and they will be without Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez for this game.

Depleted Celeste there for the taking

Friday’s set of international friendlies features a clash between teams who enjoyed very different World Cup campaigns, pitting a Japan side which thrilled en route to the last 16 by upsetting Spain and Germany against a Uruguay outfit still in disarray following a group-stage exit. With injury, ill-discipline and international retirements leaving the managerless visitors without the bulk of their established core, the Samurai Blue will fancy their chances of claiming another big scalp.

Indeed, Uruguay will be without legendary forward duo Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani here, with the pair likely to leave the international game behind, while Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez is out injured. The Celeste – who will be coached by interim boss Marcelo Broli as a full-time appointment is sought – had already failed to net in three of their last five games before losing the trio. Meanwhile, a series of bans for their players’ behaviour in Qatar has combined with injury issues to leave them even more short-manned – Ronald Araujo, Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Rodrigo Bentancur and Fernando Muslera are among their other absentees.

Japan, meanwhile, beat Germany and Spain before taking Croatia to penalties as they became everybody’s second team in Qatar – avoiding defeat against three top-15 FIFA-ranked teams. The Samurai Blue – still led by Hajime Moriyasu – are unbeaten in their last three on their own soil, with only Brazil and Tunisia winning in Japan since September 2021 – a span of 11 matches. Their squad features most of the players that made names for themselves at the World Cup, and they look well-placed to take advantage of Uruguay’s issues.

Samurai Blue represent great value

Given Uruguay’s selection issues and lack of direction as they seek a permanent replacement for Diego Alonso, backing Japan for victory at a decent price is our advised play for Friday’s game – Moriyasu’s men have form for an upset and this Uruguay side will be almost unrecognisable from their former selves.

Meanwhile, Japan have not conceded in their last three on home soil while Uruguay’s attacking issues are well-known. A 1-0 victory for the hosts could represent a solid correct score play.

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