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Japan national football team
World Cup Qualifying - Asia | Second Round
Jun 11, 2024 at 11.14am UK
National Olympic Stadium
Syria national football team

5 - 0

Ueda (13'), Doan (19'), Krouma (21' og.), Soma (73' pen.), Minamino (85')
Kamada (79')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Rahman Oues (72'), Ham (78')

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

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

Syria will be looking to seal their spot in the third stage of the AFC section of 2026 World Cup qualifying when they travel to Hiroshima for Tuesday's clash with Japan.

The hosts, who have already booked their place in the next round, will have the chance to finish the second stage with a 100% record.

Match preview

Japan's Ao Tanaka celebrates scoring their first goal with Hidemasa Morita and teammates on March 21, 2024© Reuters

As the 18th-ranked side in the world, Japan have showcased their quality to make light work of a group that contains Syria, North Korea and Myanmar.

They began their qualifying campaign with consecutive 5-0 wins over Myanmar and Syria, before they recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over North Korea.

Japan were then awarded a 3-0 win after their scheduled away meeting with North Korea was cancelled, ensuring that they sealed their spot in the next round with a game to play.

After securing their progression in March, the Samurai Blue returned to action with a dominant 5-0 away win in Thursday's clash with Mynamar thanks to braces from Keito Nakamura and Koki Ogawa as well as a Ritsu Doan effort.

They will now be looking to maintain their 100% record and clinch another clean sheet to advance to the next round without conceding a single goal.

Syria coach Hector Cuper on January 13, 2024© Reuters

In contrast to their hosts, Syria are yet to secure their place in the next stage after collecting seven points from their five qualifiers.

They kicked off their campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over North Korea, before losing to Japan and drawing 1-1 with Myanmar.

Syria then produced a free-scoring display to ease to a 7-0 victory over Myanmar in March, ensuring that they went into Thursday's game against North Korea with the chance to seal a top-two spot.

However, they ultimately fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat on matchday five, reducing their buffer to North Korea to just one point ahead of the final round of fixtures.

Hector Cuper's side still have their fate in their own hands, knowing that a win will be enough to clinch second spot, but a failure to claim all three points will leave Syria at risk of being leapfrogged by North Korea.

Japan World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:

Japan form (all competitions):

Syria World Cup Qualifying - Asia form:

Syria form (all competitions):

Team News

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu reacts on March 21, 2024© Reuters

Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu is likely to make a number of changes as he looks to give the majority of the squad some game time.

Ko Itakura and Koki Machida could be brought into the backline, while Wataru Endo and Ao Tanaka are in contention to feature in midfield.

Japan's attacking options could be freshened up with the introduction of Takumi Minamino, Daizen Maeda and Ayase Ueda.

As for Syria, they are unable to call upon the attacking duo of Mahmoud Al Aswad and Daleho Irandust due to injury.

Muayad Al Khouli is pushing for a starting spot after featuring as a half-time substitute in Thursday's defeat to North Korea.

Japan possible starting lineup:
Maekwa; Sugawara, Itakura, Machida, Ito; Endo, Tanaka; Doan, Minamino, Maeda; Ueda

Syria possible starting lineup:
Madanieh; Oues, Krouma, Midani, Ajan; Elias, Al Khouli, Ham; Hesar, Ramadan, Al-Somah

SM words green background

We say: Japan 3-1 Syria

Japan have proven to be a cut above the rest in Group B, and while they may be guaranteed top spot, we still think that they will have the motivation to wrap up the second stage of qualifying with a home victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Japan's Takumu Kawamura celebrates with Yukinari Sugiyama after scoring a goal on January 1, 2024
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Tables header RHS

Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 Denmark Denmark00000
2 England flag England00000
3 Serbia Serbia00000
4 Slovenia Slovenia00000

Group D

1 Austria Austria00000
2 France France00000
3 Netherlands Netherlands00000
4 Poland Poland00000

Group E

1 Belgium Belgium00000
2 Romania Romania00000
3 Slovakia Slovakia00000
4 Ukraine Ukraine00000

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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