Betting tips for Japan vs Croaa World Cup preview and odds

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Our expert backs Croatia to win among his betting tips for todays World Cup round-of-16 clash between Japan and Croatia

Experienced tournament regulars Croatia look set to be the team to end Japans superb World Cup run in the last-16 stage on Monday.

The Japanese will be aiming to take inspiration from their brilliant comeback wins over Germany and Spain in the group stage but it could be a bridge too far in Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, for the East Asian nation in the 3pm GMT kick-off against the 2018 runners-up.

Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.

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Japan surprisingly ended up topping Group E, ahead of Spain, with Germany crashing out, so Hajime Moriyasus side now faces Croatia, who finished second in Group F.

The Croatians have not exactly sparkled consistently in Qatar yet, with goalless draws against Morocco and Belgium and a 4-1 win over Canada getting them to the knockout stages, but they have the quality, experience and tournament know-how to reach the last eight.

The spine of the team remains one of the best in the tournament, even though several players are approaching or are already in the twilight of their careers.

Dejan Lovren, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic were all key men in their brilliant run to the final in Russia four years ago and they appear to be building momentum nicely again in Qatar with the quarter-finals now in sight.

The two countries have previous at World Cups with Croatia winning 1-0 in the 1998 group stage in France en route to a third-place finish, while in 2006 in Germany they drew 0-0 in a pool clash.

While those matches are far too long ago to be relevant in terms of form for todays showdown, it could still follow the historic pattern and be a tight affair, with the wily Croats just tipped to edge a tense last-16 game.

Tip:Croatia to win (Match result) @1/1 with Paddy Power

All four teams that so far have qualified for the quarter-finals have scored at least two goals. Argentina saw off Australia 2-1 and the Netherlands were 3-1 winners over the USA on Saturday, and then England and France both hit three to defeat Poland and Senegal respectively on Sunday

It figures that if Croatia are to join them, they too will find the back of the net at least twice on Monday.

Admittedly, they have registered two blanks at the tournament from three games so far but they had 11 shots, four which were on target, against Belgium and a more conservative five shots, two of which were on target, against Morocco.

So it was not exactly for the lack of trying that they failed to score in those matches.

Furthermore, they were worthy 4-1 winners over Canada after responding to going a goal down early on in a match in which they exceeded the 2.6 expected goals (xG).

They also scored five goals in their three most recent games before the tournament in Qatar, so this is not normally a team that struggles for goals.

Tip:Croatia over 1.5 total goals @6/5 with Paddy Power

Centre back Josko Gvardiol has been one of the breakout stars in Qatar. His performances so far have earned him plenty of admirers from across Europes top clubs as the RB Leipzig man has helped his country keep two clean sheets.

The 20-year-old has been rock-solid and defending will remain his priority on Monday. But the 4/1 on offer for him to get forward and have at least one shot on target is tempting for an in-form and confident player.

He is likely to be involved in attacking set pieces and is no stranger to attempts on goal at club level. Gvardiol had 23 shots, of which seven were on target, last season for Leipzig in the Bundesliga, while this season he has registered two shots on target from six overall in 13 appearances. He has also scored one goal in the Champions League in 2022-23 for the club.

Tip:Josko Gvardiol 1+ shots on target @4/1 with Paddy Power

Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change.

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