Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
All eyes will be on Saitama Stadium when Japan and Saudi Arabia face each other in a highly-anticipated World Cup qualifier. Japan faced no difficulties in a 2-0 win over China, with the team moving one step closer to securing their place at the showpiece tournament in Qatar. The Samurai Blue are on a four-game winning run in the WC qualifiers, and they surely want to melt Saudi Arabia’s advantage to one point.
Both Maya Yoshida and Takehiro Minamino have been ruled out with injuries, while experienced attacker Yuya Osako should continue to lead the line for the hosts. The Group B leaders, on the other hand, are with one foot at the 2022 World Cup finals, but they can’t afford any complacency in the last three group games. Anyhow, home win should be considered as Australia are breathing Japan’s neck in the standings. Midfielder Sami Al-Najei misses out with injury for the visiting side.
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 (Saudi Arabia):
Saudi Arabia Football Federation was established back in 1956, but the Saudis qualified for a major tournament 28 years later, when they participated in the AFC Asian Cup. In 1988 Saudi Arabia won their first trophy, with the team beating South Korea in the Asian Cup final.
Eight years later they repeated the success and it has to be noted that they have been playing at the Asian Cup finals ever since. Speaking of their appearances at the FIFA World Cup finals, the Green Falcons did well to qualify for the 1994 tournament, where they made it to the last 16. Saudi Arabia participated at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 tournament as well, but they missed out on a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
However, the Asian side booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia thanks to a win over Japan in their last group game in the qualifiers. Saudi Arabia’s home kits are white, whilst they wear green jerseys and shirts when playing on the road.