Australia vs Japan prediction, preview, team news and more

Australia host Japan at the Stadium Australia in Sydney on Thursday for a key clash in the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asia qualifiers.

The Socceroos are third in Group B with 15 points, and as things stand, they are heading to the fourth round. A direct qualification is still possible if they beat Japan, but the Samurai Blue aren’t going to make things easier for them.

The 2011 Asian champions are three points clear of Australia in second place. A victory on Thursday would guarantee their place at the Qatar showpiece later this year.


Australia vs Japan Head To Head

There have been 25 clashes between the two teams, with Japan winning 11 times and losing on six occasions. They haven’t lost to the Socceroos since June 2009.

The Samurai Blue have won four of their last five clashes with Australia, including a 2-1 victory on home soil in the October reverse.

SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) squad – AFC Asian Qualifiers【Road to Qatar】vs Australia (3/24@Sydney) vs V #football bit.ly/3KOeRZb

Australia Form Guide (all competitions): DWDDL.

Japan Shape Guide (all competitions): WWWWW.


Australia vs Japan Team News

Australia

The Socceroos have called up 27 players for this month’s double-header against Japan and Saudi Arabia, including five uncapped players.

Olyroos graduates Nathaniel Atkinson and Nicholas D’Agostino, who’ve been in scintillating form for Melbourne Victory lately, have earned their first-ever call-ups.

Perth Glory star Bruno Fornaroli has also been included after switching allegiance from Uruguay to Australia. Melbourne striker Jamie Maclaren has withdrawn from the Japan fixture due to his wedding, while Mathew Ryan and Danny Vukovic will join the squad today.

injured: Tom Rogic, Riley McGree.

Doubtful: Mathew Leckie.

suspended: None.

Unavailable: Jamie MaClaren, Aaron Mooy, Jackson Irvine, Matthew Spiranovic, Ryan McGowan.

Japan

The Blue Samurai have announced a 26-man squad, which includes Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino and experienced defender Yuto Nagatomo.

Vissel Kobe star Yuya Osako is sidelined with an injury, whereas Hiroki Sakai withdrew with an issue too. The latter has been replaced by Nagoya Grampus defender Shinnosuke Nakatani. Celtic-based Daizen Maeda is unavailable.

JUST IN: The JFA announces that Daizen Maeda has withdrawn from the Japan squad for fitness/condition reasons. No replacement planned.

injured: Yuya Osako, Hiroki Sakai, and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Doubtful: None.

suspended: None

Unavailable: Daizen Maeda (fitness issues).


Australia vs Japan Predicted XIs

Australia (4-2-3-1): Matthew Ryan; Fran Karacic, Trent Sainsbury, Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich; James Jeggo, Connor Metcalfe; Martin Boyle, Ajdin Hrustic, Craig Goodwin; Bruno Fornaroli.

Japan (4-3-3): Shuichi Gonda; Sho Sasaki, Shogo Taniguchi, Ko Itakura, Yuto Nagatomo; Hidemasa Morita, Wataru Endo, Ao Tanaka; Junya Ito, Takuma Asano, and Takumi Minamino.


Australia vs Japan Prediction

Australia are fighting for their lives here, as a defeat would all but dump them into the fourth round, ending their hopes of securing direct qualification.

Meanwhile, Japan, who’re unbeaten against the Socceroos for over a decade, are coming into this game in excellent form. They will fancy their chances of victory to confirm their place in Qatar, having qualified for the last six editions of the World Cup .

Prediction: Australia 1-2 Japan.


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