The Tokyo 2020 football tournament has already thrown up a fair share of surprise results and experts predict more. Followers of the action shown live on television have witnessed some memorable matches. Will France v Japan be another classic? This game involving two potential group winners is set for a 12:30 GMT start on Wednesday. The winner of this one could go on to clinch the gold medal but which team will prove themselves worthy of the win?
Both nations had the opportunity to send a near full-strength team to Tokyo 2020 with the rules being relaxed to allow a squad of under 24-year-olds with three overage call ups permitted. With the summer Olympics postponed for 12 months and the involvement of France in Euro 2020 earlier this summer, many of Europe’s top clubs weren’t keen on their players being sent on another energy-sapping trip. Not to mention the increased risk of catching COVID and having to self isolate on their return just a few weeks before the likes of the Ligue 1 and La Liga are due to start.
France and Japan will believe they are both good enough to win this match and progress towards the gold medal. The fact that both sides enter focused on winning should make this game a fascinating 90 minutes. France and Japan have the quality to create chances, score goals and entertain followers. The only thing left to do is predict which side will win. Our team aim to assist you with that in this article.
France failed to impress
France may have opened their campaign for gold as one of the early favourites but failed to live up to expectations during the group stages. They shared a pool with Japan, Mexico and South Africa. Pundits expected the host nation to be strong but not many had them picked to play better than France and win the section. That’s not a possibility.
The French opened their group with a surprise 4-1 loss at the hands of Mexico which was a real eye-opener for the losing team. The Mexicans are always strong and the three points wasn’t the shock it was the way in which the French defence was ripped apart. They looked off the pace and nothing like the potential champions fans tuning in to the action had expected. A response was needed.
The team got back on track and gained the win needed when beating South Africa in a seven-goal thriller with the final score settled at 4-3 in France’s favour. Scoring four goals would have done wonders for team morale but the defence was again fragil and they almost lost to bottom of the group South Africa. That backline has now conceded seven goals in two games which will encourage their opponents.
Japan aiming to win the group
Japan are the host nation and football fans there had high hopes of seeing the team make full use of that to win the gold medal. Doing so would put Japanese football on the map and showcase the talent that is emerging from the nation. If the team were able to go to the latter stages of this tournament and win the gold medal they’d be given the respect they deserve in future World Cup competitions. This is a young, exciting and ambitious side who are out to put on a show and impress viewers.
They head into this match on top of the pool with a maximum of six points collected from two games. They got off to a dream start when beating South Africa but were made to work hard for the points, nicking a narrow 1-0 victory. A more comfortable margin of victory was predicted by many, but the points were more important than the performance that day. The clean sheet would have been another positive for the coaching staff as they know a strong defence will be key to seeing them through to the latter stages.
It was another one-goal win on matchday two when beating Mexico 2-1 on Sunday. The Mexicans also got off to a winning start and entered as favourites to make it two from two but were beaten by the locals, and it was a fair result. That game ended 2-1 with the victors racing into an early two-goal lead. Kubo and Doan had them ahead inside 12 minutes, with the latter scoring from the penalty spot. Mexico then had Vasquez sent off on 68 minutes before scoring a consolation goal near the end. Japan are now on the cusp of winning the group and doing so with a 100% record.
France v Japan prediction
The pressure is all on the French to win this match and secure their place in the next round. At present, three teams can finish top of the pool, but one side will be eliminated from the competition. The French start in third place, knowing if they lose in midweek, there’s a good chance they will be sent home.
Japan have made a fine start to this competition and are now in a great position to progress as group winners. That would serve as a real statement of intent to the rest of the competition. They aren’t blowing teams away, but they are strong in defence, and that could be the difference against a French side who seem to have adopted a “score one more than you” approach to this group.
Tokyo 2020 odds
The pre-match betting odds on this fixture available at 22bet has France trading at 3.152 with a win for Japan yours at 2.155 and the draw 3.66. There are dozens of specials too, including both teams to score, handicap, total goals, half time/full time and first goalscorer.
The 22bet football team previews the biggest matches from Tokyo 2020. Visit this page and read our predictions before every big game. Following the final round of group games in midweek, we turn our attention to the knockout stages of the play, where things start to get serious in the bid for a gold medal finish.
Want to know more about the betting odds for the game? Check out the BTTS, Handicap, Teams to Win and other markets and bet on France v Japan on 22Bet!