Sporting Life's women's football expert Joe Rindl has the preview and best bet for Team GB's tie with hosts Japan at Tokyo 2020.
1pt Great Britain to win at 5/4 (General)
1pt GB Half-time; GB Full-time at 14/5 (Boyle Sports)
Team GB got their Tokyo 2020 women's football campaign off to the perfect start thanks to an Ellen White double against Chile in Sapporo.
They were utterly dominant notching up 22 shots to Chile’s two with the South Americans no match for the tournament's third favourites.
GB's fixtures now get tougher, with a match against 2016 Bronze-medal-winners Canada to come after taking on hosts Japan in their second game.
Sadly, there will be no crowds when GB and Japan meet on Saturday morning, but I’m still expecting to see a tense, high-quality affair. This could be the match of the weekend folks.
Japan had to rescue a 1-1 draw against Canada with Aston VIlla’s Mana Iwabuchi netting the leveller in the 84th minute in their opening group game.
The former World Champions and current Asia Cup holders will feel aggrieved not to have come away with more. Canada finished the game with just one shot on target.
Still, Japan are not the powerhouse in the women’s game they once were. Since claiming silver at the 2015 World Cup, Japan have failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics and bowed out at the round of 16 stage at the 2019 World Cup.
Incidentally they lost 1-0 to England in the group stages of that tournament in France.
With 15 of the 18-person GB squad being English, it’s useful to analyse England’s record against Japan to get some insight into GB’s chances.
Japan denied England a first Women’s World Cup final with a 2-1 win in the semis in Canada in 2015.
But it’s England who usually have the edge when these two go head-to-head, winning five of the eight times the sides have met.
The Three Lions are also ranked sixth in the world by FIFA, four places ahead of Japan.
As such, I'm shocked to see GB TO WIN at odds-against for this tie. You can find Hege Riise’s team to claim victory at 5/4 with the market currently drifting.
I’m also backing GB TO WIN HALF-TIME & FULL-TIME at 14/5. Using England as a comparison again, only one match from their 2019 World Cup run to the semi-finals saw them fail to score before the half-time whistle.
In tournaments, the English players like to start fast.
Score prediction: Japan 0-2 Great Britain (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Odds correct at 0930 BST (22/07/21)
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