Japan to sink the Scots in Lorient
In 2011 Japan defied the odds to win the World Cup when they defeated USA on penalties. Fast forward eight years and their game has stalled somewhat but should still be one to watch at these finals. Can Scotland cause an upset? Have a read of our preveiw:
Japan looking to return to another final
It is true, Japan have not been quite as consistent as they once were, yet take them lightly at your peril. This is a nation who won the World Cup in 2011 just months after the devastating tsunami and earthquake that killed 20,000 people in the Tohoko region.
They reached another final in 2015, narrowly losing to the USA while their U17 won in 2014 and U20 tasted victory in 2018. This is a nation where the women are striving to play an expansive, adaptable game which has made the men’s side so enjoyable to watch at recent tournaments.
They were left frustrated against Argentina in their opening match but should take the positives after dominating the game.
Their star players need to perform, however, and they will be looking towards the likes of Emi Nakajima to inspire them to victory.
Scotland plucky in spite of defeat
Scotland put in a very good second half display against the Lionesses, losing narrowly by a single goal, 2-1 in Nice.
They can take heart from that 45-minutes of football and will need to play in a similar manner if they are to deny Japan a first win at these finals.
The Scotland coach, Shelley Kerr, admitted after the game that it ‘would have been nice’ to get the victory in game one but was happy with the performance after the break.
"We know we need to win one game, it doesn't have to be the first game, even if it would have been nice,’ she admitted.
"At a top competition like the World Cup you need to scrutinise yourself to the max, there were a lot of positives for us in the second half though."
Little is a lot
Kim Little is looking forward to this tournament more than most after suffering an ACL injury that forced her to miss Euro 2017 and then breaking her leg earlier this season. A quicker recovery than expected means she is back to pull the strings in midfielder in what is a team full of quality.
Japan vs Scotland Women’s World Cup betting tip
With Japan needing to show their credentials this will be seen as the perfect opportunity though Scotland will be no easy match up. That is why backing Japan to win and there to be over 2.5 goals at odds of 31/20 is a very decent shout in this one.