World Cup 2018, Japan vs Senegal: Preview, Team News, Prediction, Head-to-Head & Key Stats
Japan and Senegal face off against each other on Sunday knowing that the winner of this match will all but ensure qualification to the next round of the World Cup. Senegal started off their World Cup campaign with a convincing 2-1 victory over the higher ranked Poland side containing the likes Robert Lewandoski.
With a victory against Japan, they will be looking to continue in their quest to emulate the 2002 World Cup squad or maybe even go further by reaching the Semi-Finals.
Japan started off their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over a 10 man Colombian side who played almost the entire 90 minutes with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez received the marching orders in the 3rd minute of the match. Japan too will be looking to qualify for the round of 16 for the third time in their history.
The only major injury concern that Japan has is the bruised thigh of Keisuke Honda which could keep him out of the game, having suffered the slight knock after coming on against Colombia in Japan's first game
With no major injury concerns for his squad, Aliou Cisse will most likely start the same 11 that started the match against Poland.
Possible line-up for the teams
Japan Predicted XI: Eiji Kawashima; Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo; Makoto Hasebe, Gaku Shibasaki, Genki Haraguchi, Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui; Yuya Osako.
Senegal Predicted XI: Khadim Ndiaye; Moussa Wague, Salif Sane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Lamine Gassama; Ismaila Sarr, Alfred Ndiaye, Idrissa Gane Gueye, Sadio Mane; Mame Diouf, Mbaye Niang.
Head to head stats
Senegal is unbeaten in their three previous games with Japan, all of which were friendlies.
This is the first time that these two teams have been pitted against each other in the World Cup.
Some stats to look forward to in this encounter
Senegal will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the group stages of the World Cup to 5 matches.
No Asian team have registered consecutive wins in the group stages of a world cup.
Senegal is going against an Asian opponent for the first time in their history.
Japan has lost the last time they faced an African opponent in the World Cup(2-1 to Ivory Coast, 2014 World Cup).
Senegal vs Japan, Group H:
Match Date: 24 June 2018, Sunday
Match Timing: 20:30 IST
Match Venue: Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg, Russia