International Friendly: Takefusa Kubo is gearing up for Japan's match against Panama

International Friendly: Japan and Panama Engage In a Feel-Out Game

Japan vs Panama

Japan will continue their early preparations for the World Cup qualifiers as they will face Panama in an International Friendly this Saturday evening over at the Libenauer Stadium.

They have already started when they played a couple of friendlies against their South African counterparts and the International Friendly 2020 results were positive.

They secured a draw against Cameroon along with a 1-0 win over Ivory Coast last month. And now that the international break is ongoing, this time, they will engage with their friends over in the Americas.

Panama will be first on their list in what should be an intriguing matchup, especially given their short history together.

Japan won against them in their last encounter two years ago, but a lot has changed since then.

Can Los Canaleros avenge their previous loss this time around? Or will the Samurai Blue make it two for two?

Check out today’s match preview courtesy of SBOTOP.

 

Talking Points

Japan are underrated

Developing team chemistry will be the primary agenda for Hajime Moriyasu as they’ll play in a couple of friendlies over in Graz, Austria.

The original plan is for the Samurai Blue to host these friendlies in their home country, but travel restrictions are put into place in adherence to their safety protocols.

Still, Japan have a bevy of options available and that should serve them well this week.

Liverpool winger Takumi Minamino and Villarreal forward Takefusa Kubo will headline a 24-man squad that is stacked from across the board.

 

Joining them will be the likes of FK Rostov midfielder Kento Hashimoto, Partizan Belgrade winger Takuma Asano, Werder Bremen forward Yuya Osako, Genk striker Junya Ito, and Marseille full-back Yuto Nagatomo, among others.

“I am thankful to have such a strong squad available. We aim to win both games,” said Moriyasu in a recent press conference.

Japan’s most recent result was a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast in what was a grinded out game for both sides.

Cercle Brugge defender Naomichi Ueda scored the marginal goal of the game, and he will be featured again in the 24-man squad.

Meanwhile, Arminia Bielefeld midfielder Ritsu Doan was removed from the national team since the German club didn’t release him for the international break.

 

How will Thomas Christiansen fare as Panama’s manager?

Thomas Christiansen will be put to the test once again as this will be his third game being Panama’s team manager.

The former VfL Bochum striker has fared well so far in the coaching helm as Los Canaleros won back-to-back friendlies against Costa Rica with an aggregate tally of 2-0 last month.

Expectations are low for Panama since they lack enough quality to contend. However, they are a gritty group who aren’t going to back down from any challenge.

Their mental resolve was shown when they held Brazil to a 1-1 draw last March 2019. It was the first time they avoided defeat against the Selecao thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Luis Mejia.

Panama will bring in holdovers from their 2018 FIFA World Cup team in order to mix their youth-laden squad with some much-needed veteran leadership.

Abdiel Ayarza, who scored Panama’s last two goals against Costa Rica, is one of them and he will be the striker to look out for in this upcoming contest.

 

History

This match will mark as the second-ever meeting between these two proud countries.

When Japan won over Panama with a 3-0 scoreline in 2018, Hajime Moriyasu was just starting to get acclimated in his national team managerial role while Gary Stempel was coaching Panama back then.

International Friendly: Can Japan beat Panama when they play this weekend at UPC-Arena?

japan manager Hajime Moriyasu coaching from the touchline

In the same year, both Japan and Panama participated in the FIFA World Cup.

Japan advanced to the knockout stage by overtaking Senegal and Poland in Group H alongside Colombia, and then they almost shocked the world.

Hajime Moriyasu’s men established a 2-0 lead in the 48th minute versus Belgium, but they squandered their lead when they conceded three goals from Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini, and Nacer Chadli.

On the other hand, Panama didn’t have such luck in the same tournament.

They were bundled together with Belgium, England, and Tunisia in Group G and they lost all of their three group stage fixtures.

 

Betting Tip

??
Japan vs Panama Japan Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.83
November 13, 22:15 (GMT+8)

The International Friendly 2020 odds point to another victory for Hajime Moriyasu’s men.

Japan are priced at 1.63 to win, while Panama are behind at 5.20 and chances for a draw are at 3.70, as per the 1×2 market.

Do not expect this to be a high-scoring affair since this will be a feeling out game for both sides. Hence, going for Under 2.50 @ 1.55 or Total Goal 0-1 @ 2.17 are also promising bets.

The Samurai Blue offer more quality on paper given their European-based stars, and that should prove to be the difference in this fixture.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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