Uruguay seek a second consecutive Copa America victory when they face competition debutants Japan. La Celeste laid down a real marker in their opening duel while the Samurai Blues suffered a bruising 4-0 loss at the hands of holders Chile.
Where and when: Arena do Grêmio, Porto Alegre – 20 June, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Uruguay vs. Japan: Premier Sports 1
Last time: The nations played out a thrilling seven-goal thriller in October 2018 and it was Genta Miura who got the winner for Japan in injury time.
|Over 4.5 goals||11/2||Offer|
|Draw and both teams to score||8/1||Offer|
|Uruguay to win 2-0||9/2||Offer|
Uruguay vs. Japan Predictions and Preview
Uruguay romped to a 4-0 win against Ecuador in Belo Horizonte and in truth, La Celeste could have scored at least a couple more. Oscar Tabarez’ squad came in to the tournament as one of the four favourites, along with Brazil, Argentina and current holders Chile, and they will take some stopping once they hit top gear.
Uruguay may not possess a player with the flair of Lionel Messi or Philippe Coutinho, but they are arguably the most complete side competing in Brazil with a formidable spine. In Diego Godin, there are few better defenders on the planet and new club Inter have pulled off a real coup in securing the services of the Atletico Madrid legend.
Upfront, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez need little introduction and both are already off the mark. The PSG and Barcelona forwards netted against La Tri and likely to battle it out to become the tournament’s eventual top scorer. Suarez is 7/2 to register first while strike partner Cavani is 4/1. La Celeste are 5/2 to claim all three points.
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu called up 17 uncapped players with Shinji Okazaki leading the inexperienced group of youngsters. Okazaki has tremendous international pedigree, netting 50 times for his country from 116 appearances and he is 3/1 to break the deadlock.
All eyes will be on compatriot Takefusa Kubo, dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’ after the 18-year-old recently put pen to paper on a move to Real Madrid. The Samurai Blues are a whopping 33/1 to pull of a shock upset and 15/2 to earn a draw.
One to watch for Uruguay: Maxi Gomez is the future, but can still make an impact in the meantime. The Celta Vigo hotshot is 6/1 to score last.
One to watch for Japan: Kubo is 22/1 in the same final scorer market and his pace could be an asset late on.
Long shot: Barring a miracle, Uruguay should run out comfortable winners against a Japan back four with a combined total of five caps. In Suarez and Cavani, the Samurai Blues will be coming up against two of the canniest operators in the game and it will only be a matter of time before the lethal duo are through on goal. A 5-0 thrashing is 25/1.