James CookeUruguay vs Japan, Friday June 21st, 00:00, Arena do Grêmio. The Copa America group stage continues this week with Uruguay hopeful of building on their winning start to the competition as they take on Japan - who are competing in the competition for the first time since 1999.
The Copa America group stage continues this week with Uruguay hopeful of building on their winning start to the competition as they take on Japan – who are competing in the competition for the first time since 1999.
Uruguay began their Copa America campaign with a convincing 4-0 win over Ecuador and are strong favourites to win the group.
Oscar Tabarez’s side are among the favourites for the tournament – behind hosts Brazil and Argentina – and will be looking to exert minimal energy in the group stage in order to progress.
Japan are back in the Copa America for the first time in two decades and will be hopeful of progressing past the group stages, advancing ahead of Ecuador and Chile – who have won the last two editions of the competition.
Hajime Moriyasu’s side have won 12 of their last 16 matches going into the competition but this is likely to be the toughest assignment of the group stage.
Uruguay will be favourites to continue their winning run of form as they possess superior form and quality over Japan.
Uruguay are favourites to win this game although it may not be comfortable – an entertaining 2-2 between the sides would appear a likely outcome from it.
These two teams played out a thrilling seven-goal thriller in October (with Japan running out 4-3 victors) and it is likely that this game will be similarly goal-packed. Royal Panda are offering attractive odds of 39/20 for at least four goals in this clash, which is among the best online betting odds for this round of matches.
Linked into the previous bet, this is a game likely to have goals with Oscar Tabarez’s men in a particularly rich vein of goalscoring form going into this clash. They have racked up an impressive 14 goals across their last four matches and have a formidable range of strikers including Luis Suarez, Cristhian Stuani and Edinson Cavani. Uruguay netting in both halves – as they did against Japan last October and in each of their last four matches – is priced at 103/100 by Royal Panda.
Head to Head
Japan ran out 4-3 victors against the Uruguayans in a thrilling friendly last October, with Takunami Minamino netting a double for the Far East side. Uruguay had won all three previous friendly matches but the two have never before played competitively.
Uruguay have won 12 of their last 16 matches across all competitions, but their World Cup exit to France last summer sparked a run of four defeats in five games.
Uruguay last won the competition in 2011 – their fourth tournament triumph – when they defeated Paraguay 3-0 in the showpiece.
Japan’s only previous appearance in the Copa America was in the 1999 edition, when they collected just one point from their three group matches.
Like their opponents, Japan have won an impressive 12 of their last 16 matches in all competitions.
Aspiring football journalist who realised he could put his vast knowledge towards gambling and making some money. With years spent on Football Manager, his boyhood obsession has carried over into his adult life and he's proven his mum that all that time spent playing a game wasn't to be wasted. A European football expert, James writes about anything on the continent and has began expanding his knowledge to other leagues in South America, Asia and the USA.