Japan and Belgium will face each other July 2nd in Rostov Arena, to determine who will be watching the final from home!
Japan inched their way out of the group stages through Fair Play points! Senegal and Japan were all tied up, but unfortunately Senegal had more yellow cards and were eliminated. Japan are looking past their previous tournaments and marching forward to upset powerhouse Belgium. Head coach Akira Nishino, will be looking to his experienced squad to motivate the team for a full 90 minutes. Yuto Nagatomo, the Japanese defender says “It will definitely be a hard match. Belgium are a better team than us. However, Japan can now play with confidence. We have nothing to lose." Coming out in a 4-4-2 and losing to Poland 1-0, Japan will go back to a 4-2-3-1 formation against Belgium. They will play a passing game to dominate the tempo and look to get behind Belgiums wings to create scoring chances. As Asia's last representing country Japan will go out with everything they have.
Belgium secured Group H on top of the table, paving their way to the next round. Belgium sit #3 in the FIFA ranking and you can see why. Belgium are coming in favored to win, as they come in with 9 goals and only conceding 2. Roberto Martinez and his Red Devils are a fear to be reckoned with. Romeo Lukaku scoring 4 of those goals will be on watch as he tries put himself in the race for the Golden Boot. Japan must play to perfection if they hope to lock down Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Mertens who will be on the field causing havoc. Belgium will come out in a 3-4-3 formation and create chances through the middle and over the top. 7 months ago these two teams played a friendly in preparation for the World Cup, Belgium on top 1-0. Can the Red Devils continue their winning ways and get a spot in the quarterfinals!?
My Predictions: Belgium 4 Japan 1