Japan was on an unbeaten run of eleven-straight games (W10, D1) before finally losing in the 2019 Asian Cup final against the other guest country Qatar (3-1) back in February.
None of Japan’s last four fixtures (W2, D1, L1 – all friendlies) produced over 2.5 goals, and none saw both teams score. Encouragingly for Japan, they have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three outings (W2, D1 – all friendlies). When they win, the ‘Samurai Blue’ also tends to shut out the opposition as nine of their last 12 wins have seen them win ‘to-nil’.
Group A and B just complete in the first round. Group C today just one match. Tomorrow will be a complete first round.
In great attacking form, the Chileans have found the net in each of their last six fixtures (W3, D1, L2). However, they have been struggling at the back recently and have conceded in each of their last five outings. When Chile lose they tend to do so in dramatic fashion, having conceded exactly three goals in each of their last five defeats.
In 21 previous meetings with Asian opposition including friendlies, Chile has a great record that currently stands at W11, D7, L2. However, ‘La Roja’ is winless in the two prior H2H meetings against Japan (D1, L1), including a 4-0 drubbing last time out back in 2009.
Players to watch: Seventeen-year-old ‘Japanese Messi’ Takefusa Kubo has scored four goals in his last four J-League games for FC Tokyo, with three coming in the second half.
Chile’s current top scorer Alexis Sánchez (38 international goals) has found the net in each of his last two international outings, with both goals coming after the 60th minute.
Stat attack: Japan managed to earn just a single point from three CA games (D1, L2) when they were also invited to the tournament back in 1999.
Each of Chile’s last five CA group stage games has featured over 2.5 goals.
Chile has conceded at least one first-half goal in four of their last five fixtures.
Will not play
(Achilles Tendon Injury)
Referee: de Vivar M. D. (Par),
Venue: Estádio do Morumbi (Sao Paulo)
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