MX23RW : Sunday, January 16 16:44:41| >> :600:5361229:5361229:
Nov 16, 2021 at 4pm UK at Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex
OmanOman
0-1
JapanJapan

Ivankovic (69'), Al-Saadi (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ito (81')
Endo (56')

Preview: Oman vs. Japan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying - Asia clash between Oman and Japan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Japan and Oman will wrap up their November international games against each other on Tuesday as they compete in their latest Group B contest.

Just two points separate the two nations at the moment, but with neither team finding themselves in the top two automatic places, there is plenty of pressure on this fixture.


Match preview

Japan players celebrate after winning the penalty shoot-out on July 31, 2021© Reuters

Oman's bid to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in history has been impressive so far, with the nation having picked up seven points.

They kicked off their qualification process in style with a victory against their opponents on Tuesday night, earning a 1-0 win against Japan.

It was a game dominated by their opponents, who had 65% of the possession, but Oman stuck in the match and eventually found the back of the net in the 88th minute via Issam Al Sabhi.

A result like that would be welcomed once again by Branko Ivankovic, with his team having the potential to leapfrog Japan with three points on Tuesday.

Oman were made to work for a point in their previous outing against China, who have had a tough time in Group B, yet it took a 75th-minute strike from full-back Amjad Al Harthi for the Reds to get into the game as they drew 1-1.

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu before the match on July 22, 2021© Reuters

On the other hand, Japan were able to secure three points on Thursday when they faced Vietnam, with Junya Ito finding the back of the net early on in the first half as the team then held on to keep a clean sheet.

This marked their second win in a row as they defeated Australia in the previous match, which helped to close the gap between them in the table.

Right now there is just a point separating Japan and second place, with a victory having the possibility to place them just one point behind table-toppers Saudi Arabia, depending on other results.

This fixture is a crucial one for Hajime Moriyasu's team if they are to continue pushing for an automatic place to guarantee their name in Qatar next year.

Oman World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Oman form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Japan World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Japan form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

Takefusa Kubo of Japan celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on July 22, 2021© Reuters

Al Sabhi was dropped to the bench in the game against China, despite scoring in Oman's previous outing, but he could be worked back into this starting lineup in order to provide more of an attacking threat.

Harib Al-Saadi shall likely retain his place in the team, with his defensive midfield role being pivotal to Oman's style of play if Ivankovic keeps the same formation.

Japan will likely continue to play 4-4-2, which is something that has served them well, particularly from a defensive point of view as they have only conceded three goals in the first five matches.

Kyogo Furuhashi has been in fine form for Celtic as of late, but he only featured as a substitute in the most recent match, but he could be an option for them from the start this time around.

Oman possible starting lineup:
Al-Rushaidi; Al Harthi, Al Khamisi, Al Habsi, Al-Busaidi; Al-Saadi, Al Aghbari, Al Yahyaei, Al Yahmadi; Al Sabhi, Al-Hajri

Japan possible starting lineup:
Gonda; Yamane, Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Nagatomo; Takumi, Morita, Endo, Tanaka; Ito, Furuhashi


SM words green background

We say: Oman 2-1 Japan

Both teams have been in good form throughout the World Cup 2022 qualifying process, which should make this a closely-contested fixture, especially due to the closeness they can put on the two nations above them.

However, with the home advantage and their slightly stronger ability in front of goal, Oman should be able to just edge this fixture in order to secure a vital three points.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Oman vs Japan

Oman
28.0%
Draw
14.7%
Japan
57.3%
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