Japan Vs. Croatia: 2022 World Cup Round of 16 Odds, Expected Goals

Written By Dan Tracey on December 2, 2022 - Last Updated on December 3, 2022
Japan vs. Croatia odds

2022 FIFA World Cup odds now feature the Round of 16. One match pits Japan, winners of Group E, against Croatia, runners-up in Group F. The game takes place at 10 a.m. ET on Dec. 5, televised by FOX and Telemundo in the United States. What do Japan vs. Croatia odds have to say about each team’s chance of advancing?

Bettors should be aware during the Knockout Rounds that the three-way moneyline is only for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. If tied after that but a team wins in Extra Time or Penalty Kicks, soccer’s version of overtime, all three-way moneyline bets are still graded as a draw. If you are looking for a moneyline bet that pays out no matter when the win comes, look for “To Advance” props.   

Japan Vs. Croatia Odds

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Japan Team Preview

By the time Japan had lost to Costa Rica in their second Group E outing, many felt that their chances of reaching the Round of 16 had subsequently evaporated. Because after getting the better of Germany in their first outing, it seemed as if all their hard work was undone.

A set of results that needed Japan to get a point against Spain and hope that the other game between Germany and Costa Rica finished in their favor. That was the scenario that would see Hajime Moriyasu’s men finish second in the group.

The other scenario was for Japan to get the better of Spain and in doing so finish top of the group. That scenario was deemed rather unlikely and many felt that the Samurai Blue would miss out on advancing to the Round of 16.

However, this Japanese team certainly did not read Thursday’s script, and although their win was shrouded in technological controversy, that itself should not diminish their second half performance against Spain.

45 minutes of simply fearless soccer. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. Once they had taken what they needed, the fear was converted into fearsome defense instead, as they held on for a famous victory. Down 1-0 at halftime, Japan won 2-1.

A result that now sees them paired with Croatia on Monday, and after already beating two European nations at this year’s World Cup, there is absolutely no reason why Japan cannot go on to claim a third. 

Croatia Team Preview

Before this year’s World Cup got underway, there is one constant criticism that was attached to the current Croatia squad. A criticism that deemed them too old to replicate their final appearance of four years ago.

Although that criticism may be valid to a degree, Croatia’s elder statesmen have certainly not been displaying creaking bones in Qatar. If anything, their experienced heads have got them to where they are today.

A position that sees Zlatko Dalić’s men currently unbeaten at the tournament. An impressive win over Canada which acts as the meat in a stalemate sandwich. 0-0 offerings against both Morocco and Belgium have been functional rather than fantastic.

However, it is a brand of soccer that has certainly worked up to this point and although they have not wowed neutrals on their way to the Round of 16, it does not mean they are not deserving of such a berth.

Because even though Luka Modric is at the grand age of 37, the diminutive midfielder is no less of a threat to the opposition. If anything, a slower pace of play suits the Real Madrid star even more.

With the match tempo dialed down, Modric is even more capable of threading those eye-of-a-needle passes. This means good news for teammates Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja in attack but bad news for any opposition defenders who are trying to cut them out.

World Cup Knockout Rounds Bracket

Japan Vs. Croatia Expected Goals

In a sport where scoring has extremely high variance, opportunities to score and opportunities allowed has become a more respected measure of the quality of a team’s play. Expected goals (xG) measures the quality of a shot based on several factors, including shot type, shot angle and distance from goal. Similarly, expected goals allowed (xGA) measure the quality of a team’s defense. Subtracting expected goals allowed from expected goals equals expected goal differential (xGD) and offers an overall advanced measure of a team.

TeamGoals ScoredGoals AllowedGoal Difference2022 World Cup xG2022 World Cup xGA2022 World Cup xGD
Japan43+13.624.86-1.24
Croatia41+34.654.12+0.53

Matchup History

In terms of the history between Japan and Croatia, there is not a great deal to report on. However, of the few skirmishes that these two nations have previously had, the current record is split straight down the middle.

One win each and a tie is the construction of their three previous outings. Two of which have taken place at previous editions of the World Cup. In 2006 the two teams played out a bore draw in Germany, eight years earlier it was Croatia who earned a 1-0 win in France.

That was the year in which an only recently formed Croatian national team went to the Semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup. That year they lost to eventual winners France and they would suffer the same feat in the final four years ago. 

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Japan Vs. Croatia Odds: Bets To Consider

Japan to win in 90 minutes:

In every World Cup, there is always one nation that because everyone’s second pick. While in Qatar that mantle has certainly been given to Japan. After getting the better of Germany and stunning Spain, how can you not fall in love with this team?

A team that has been a breath of fresh air since the tournament began and when they are finally sent packing, the wind will certainly be knocked out of our collective sails. However, I believe that there will be a huge gust for Croatia to deal with on Monday.

Because I am nailing my adopted colors to the mast and backing Japan to win in 90 minutes. At odds of +300 to reach the last eight, I think this is an exceptional amount of value on offer to both me and my readers.

After topping Group E, this Japan side is going to feel almost invincible and although Croatia is certainly a tough hand within the confines of world soccer, I do feel that they are starting to lose their grip at the top.

The Croats have certainly been solid in Qatar but far from spectacular and I think this will be the end of the road for this talented but aging squad. A road that ends for them but a path that takes Japan to the quarter-finals and who knows where beyond.

Over goals:

Although two of Croatia’s first three outings have ended with nothing in the way of goals, their opponents may have to shoulder some of the blame. Were it not for better finishing from both Morocco and Belgium, Group F could have been a completely different story.

Then again, such poor finishing from those two nations played a huge part in Croatia’s advancement to the Round of 16. This means an element of gratitude may be required after twice sharing the points. 

However, it is no longer group stage points that are up for grabs. Now it is knockout soccer from here on in and this is where the Croats may need to offer more in the opposition’s final third.

Especially if Japan manages to find itself on the scoresheet first. Should that be the case, it will only coax their European opponents out of their usual defensive stance and this could lead to more goals than first expected.

With this in mind, I am expecting at least three. While if you use the tip above and combine it with this logic, a 2-1 Japan win can also be found at +1200 and that is also worth some serious consideration. 

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