Our prediction for this match:
Japan and Canada go head to head at Denka Big Swan Stadium in the opening match of Friday’s program. The Samurai Blue have established themselves as the dominant force in Asia and their performance in a 4-2 win over Turkey is surely fuelling fans with optimism ahead of the visit of Canada. Hajime Moriyasu has a number of high-profile players to choose from and regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, home win should be considered. Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma is widely expected to return to the starting line-up after he was rested in the last warm-up game.
The Canucks, on the other hand, are on a three-game winless run in all competitions and given their difficulties at the back, we believe that there is a big value in betting on Japan. New Canada boss Mauro Biello has included the likes of Jonathan David, Alphonso Davies, and Cyle Larin in the 23-man squad, but Club Brugge winger Tajon Buchanan has been ruled out with injury.
Highlighted Player (Wataru Endo):
Wataru Endo is a Japanese footballer who plays for Urawa Red Diamonds as a defender. Endo is a product of Shonan Bellmare youth academy and he continued playing for the club at senior level. After scoring 21 goals in 153 appearances (league) for the club the 178-cm tall centre-back moved to Urawa Red Diamonds in 2016 and he has been playing for the J1 League club ever since.
Endo won the AFC Champions League with Urawa in 2017 as the Reds defeated Al-Hilal in the final of the competition. The Japanese defender played 90 minutes in the victory over the Saudi Arabian side and the winning of the AFC Champions League trophy is considered the biggest success of his career.
Wataru Endo made his debut for Japan on August 2, 2015 in a 2-1 loss to Korea DPR at the EAFF E-1 Football Championship. In 2016 he was the AFC U-23 Championship trophy with the Samurai Blue. The Urawa Red Diamonds footballer was born in Totsuka-ku, Yokohama (Japan) on February 9, 1993.
Highlighted Team (Canada):
Canada national football team played their first official match back in 1924 when they suffered a 3-2 loss to Australia in Brisbane. The following year the two teams faced each other one in Adelaide, with the Canadians managing to get their revenge on the Socceroos. The Canucks had several unsuccessful attempts to make it to the World Cup finals, but in 1986 they finally booked their place at the showpiece tournament.
Canada faced France in their opener, with Jean-Pierre Papin scoring the winner for les Tricolores in the dying minutes of the match. The Canadians were beaten by Hungary and USSR in the next two group games as well and, as a result, they failed to advance to the knockout stages.
Speaking of the team’s trophies, the Canucks won the CONCACAF Gold cup on two occasions (1985, 2000), with the team beating Honduras and Colombia respectively in the title games. Canada national football team play their home games at BMO Field and the capacity of the venue is 30,000.