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Japan will play hosts to China in the third round of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers as the action resumes.
Japan has been cruising through the qualifiers this time around and has reached thus far in the group stages without any serious threats. The Samurai Blues are sitting on the second spot in group B, eligible to qualify for the main event in Qatar. However, its lead over third-placed Australia is razor-thin, at just 1 point.
After a sensational round 2, the team started its round 3 with a 0-1 loss against Oman. Japan bounced back in its next game against China, coming out victorious, before suffering another defeat at the hands of toppers Saudi Arabia. Hajime Moriyasu has since then been able to get his team back on the winning track, and Japan has won the last three games, against Oman, Vietnam, and a much-fancied Australian team.
The Dragon’s Team on the other hand has faced a pretty rough road so far and is currently sitting at a precarious 5th place in the Group B tables. China started its third-round campaign with back-to-back losses against Australia and Japan, before bouncing back dramatically against Vietnam. The scores were level at 2-2 at the end of regular time, but a 95th-minute goal by Wu Lei ensured that his team got 3 important points. Since then, the team has collected just 2 points from 3 games, and their chances of qualifying look pretty slim at this stage.
Match prediction and betting tips for Japan vs China, World Cup Qualifiers 2022. The match is going to be played at the Saitama Stadium, Saitama, on the 27th of January, 2022.
With just 4 games to go in this round, China will look to win each and every fixture if they would like to get a berth in the next round. Li Xiaopeng will once again be banking on Wu Lei to give them an early lead. Wu Xei is an old horse, who brings stability to the mid-field, and the new center-back pairing of Zhu Chenjie and Tyias Browning will be trying to stop the Samurais from scoring.
Moriyasu will most likely field the same eleven which won 3 consecutive games last year, including Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino, Yuto Nagatomo, and Hiroki Sakai, who will form the attack for the team. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Capitan Maya Yoshida are likely to give this game a miss.
Given the current form of the hosts, we predict that they will score an easy victory here, and quash the hopes of China making it into the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
Bet on Japan to win.