Japan vs Costa Rica – World Cup Group E: How they are doing, injuries and predictions as the Japanese look to qualify

JAPAN will be looking to secure a place in the knockout rounds of the World Cup against Costa Rica against the odds.

Few would have given Japan a chance to finish in the last 16 as they faced big hitters Spain and Germany in the draw.

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Japan won 2-1 against Germany

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Japan won 2-1 against Germany

But after one of the big World Cup shocks, they are now able to progress with a game to go.

Samurai Blue will be the big favorite to beat Costa Rica, who already looks like they will need a miracle to come through.

For Central Americans, a result here is actually vital.

SunSport takes a look at what to expect from Japan vs Costa Rica, including our result prediction.

How are you?

Japan: One of the big surprise packages of the tournament after the impressive 2-1 win over Germany.

With this result, they are in a position to effectively secure qualification if they get a better result against the Costa Ricans than the Germans did against Spain.

Read full match report Germany vs Japan…

Costa Rica: It can only improve!

The Ticos looked by far to be the worst side of the tournament as they took a 7-0 lead without scoring a single shot, let alone a shot on target.

Read full match report Spain vs Costa Rica…

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Costa Rica started their World Cup with a 7-0 win over Spain

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Costa Rica started their World Cup with a 7-0 win over Spain

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Any injuries to worry about?

Japan: Japan are in clean health as they attempt to secure a place in the last 16.

But after manager Hajime Moriyasu’s success in making five second-half substitutions against Germany, he may well be tempted to rearrange the field.

Costa Rica: In a small bright spot after the hammer against Spain, Costa Rica have no new injury worries.

However, it would be difficult to claim that one of Luis Fernando Suarez’s starting XI automatically put his name on the squad list with that performance. However, Keylor Navas is a dead cert to start in goal.

Who will the star men be?

Japan: Former Arsenal striker Takuma Asano started on the bench against Germany.

But after his winning goal in this game, he could well be favored for a full 90 minutes.

Gunners defender Takehiro Tomiyasu was certainly present at the back after his substitution against the Germans and could start here.

Costa Rica: When Ticos play as badly as they did against Spain, Keylor Navas must be in top form.

There’s always an element of anticipation around former Arsenal winger Joel Campbell but he has to offer a lot more than he did on Wednesday.

What is the head-to-head race?

The two sides have never met in a tournament, but have played each other in friendlies five times.

And it is Japan that has had the whip hand in these encounters.

The Japanese have won four of their five encounters, scoring three goals in each of those wins, with the other game being a 1-1 draw in Yokohama in 2002.

The teams last met in September 2018 when Japan won 3-0 in Suita.

SunSport Prediction

Japan 3 Costa Rica 0

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6776330/japan-costa-rica-world-cup-preview-prediction/ Japan vs Costa Rica – World Cup Group E: How they are doing, injuries and predictions as the Japanese look to qualify

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