GROUP G comes to a close this Thursday as Japan take on Poland in Volgograd. Glenn Scurfield (@GScurfTrader) highlights the best betting opportunities.
Japan v Poland | Thursday 27th June 2018, 15:00 | BBC
Following Colombia’s convincing win over Poland, the market has seen Japan attract the smart money. It was ludicrous that an already eliminated Poland side were favourites.
Akira Nishino’s Japan only need to secure a point to proceed to the knockout stage. All three points would see the Japanese top Group H, likely meeting England or Belgium in the Last 16.
Before Colombia took control against Poland, Japan were 15/8 for this one. As the game went on, the Blue Samurai were supported into 7/4. Come full-time Japan shortened to as low as 13/10. A dramatic market reaction saw Japan go from underdogs to favourites within 30 minutes.
Over the last few days the market has become more efficient – they are now around 13/8 with a +0.25 Japan start having shortened from around 3/4 to near 1/2. Despite the market return, they unsurprisingly remain favourites.
1-1 a runner
Against the likes of Iran, China and South Korea, Japan went off a similar price. The 1-1 correct score closed with an implied probability of 17.24% on average.
This time around, we’re quoted an implied chance of 15.38%. The current price of 11/2 (Betfair) is worth a dart based on the historic data.
Inui to inspire
Takashi Inui has been monumental down the left side for Japan, an area in-which Poland have seemingly struggled throughout the World Cup. Inui has already found the back of the net once so far in the World Cup, against Senegal after beautifully constructed build-up play with Shibasaki.
The 30 year-old has netted three times in his last three for Japan, producing impressive conversion rates of 57.14% and 75.00% (Shots to Shots on Target and Shots on Target to Goals) in the process constructing an xG ratio of 0.29, 0.42 and 0.32.
The Eibar man has also averaged 3.50 touches per-game in the opposition’s box during the World Cup, whereas the Polish right back Lukasz Piszczek has only won 35.29% of his defensive duals so far. Backing the 9/2 (Bet365) around Inui anytime could prove wise.