After a bittersweet draw against Germany, Spain already has a foot and a half in the round of 16 with the game against Japan still to play, which has just lost to Costa Rica. Luis Enrique's men face a Japanese team that surprised on the first day after winning 1-2 against a Germany that has left much to be desired in this World Cup in Qatar.
Japan, which is playing its seventh world cup, will try to at least equal the result of the 2018 World Cup in Russia when it fell 3-2 in the round of 16 against Belgium. If they want to ensure their place in the next round, Hajime Moriyasu's team will have to beat Spain.
Otherwise, you will have to hope that Costa Rica does not win its match against Germany, since otherwise it would be automatically eliminated. In the event that the German team managed to beat the Costa Rican or in the event of a tie, the classification would be defined based on goal difference.
Spain, for its part, has it easier to qualify. Both the draw and the victory against Japan would give him the ticket to the round of 16. In the event of a defeat, the red team will have to hope that Costa Rica does not surpass Germany, and if both teams tie, the classification will be defined by goal difference.
For this game, the Barça players, Sergio Busquets and Gavi, are expected to rest. Badia's midfielder is on the alert for suspension and Luis Enrique prefers not to risk it. It is expected that his place will be occupied by Rodri, who in the first games has played in the central position.
As for Gavi, after the game against Germany he trained outside the group for several days due to a strong blow and everything indicates that he will not play either. Koke has his options to enter the eleven, since he was the one who replaced him in the game against the German team.
Japan is currently second in the group with three points, one less than Spain and the same as Costa Rica, their executioner on the second day. They keep their qualifying options intact because on the first day they gave the bell a comeback from the game against Germany, which closes the group with one point, although if they win they will still have the hope of passing.
Days ago Luis Enrique analyzed the rival this Thursday. "We know Japan well, they have quality, fast and dynamic players. When they are losing they are capable of pressing and they are going to present us with complications due to their quality, it will not be easy due to the need they may have, but we do not want to speculate, we want to win ”, he detailed.
The match between Japan and Spain will be played on December 1, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. in Spain (two hours less than in Qatar) and will be broadcast by La 1 and Gol Mundial. The La Vanguardia website will also offer live minute by minute of what happens during a final clash to advance to the next round.