Japan cannot qualify with a defeat
Spain to pick Japan off on the attack
Card shy referee in charge
Follow our World Cup live blog here
Japan have been something of an advertisement for variance so far this tournament. In both of their games so far, they've conceded just one goal. Against Germany, they faced 26 shots, nine on target and had an xGA of 3.1. Against Costa Rica, they conceded the same amount despite facing only four shots, one of which was on target and an xGA of 0.1.
Japan needs to play into Spanish hands
Game state becomes important in this last round of games and Japan cannot qualify with a defeat here. If they draw, then there'll be nervous glances at Germany v Costa Rica game. Essentially, Japan are guaranteed qualification with a win against Spain. Given they need a win here, that feels like it will play into Spain's strengths.
The Spanish often struggle to break down a solid defensive unit and if Japan are attacking and throwing men forward, it's hard not to envisage goals from either side. Costa Rica imploded, while the game we saw against Germany is how I had envisaged Spain games playing out in this tournament. Over 2.5 goals at 1.768/11 looks a fair price and I couldn't put you off including it in your Bet Builders.
There's not much value in Spain's win price at 4/11 and I'd struggle to make the case for Japan here but given how I expect the game to pan out, Spain to win and over 2.5 goals looks a fine price at 2.245/4 on the Betfair Exchange.
Card shy referee
The referee for this game is Victor Gomes and his stats would suggest he's not the most card happy referee ever. I would class both of these teams as fairly well disciplined; Spain have received just one yellow card in their two games and averaged one per game in qualifying. Japan have three so far in Qatar, all of which came against Costa Rica and averaged 1.5 per game in qualifying.
Under 3.5 cards at 5/6 appeals given the referee and both teams general good behaviour. At a bigger price, 21/10, I don't mind a play on the under 2.5 cards but the 3.5 line feels the safer option.
For Thursday's games, you can get a free £/€5 Bet Builder when you place a £/€5 Bet Builder on the Betfair Sportsbook. For offers like these, I like to have a play at the bigger prices. Spain -1, over 3.5 goals, under 3.5 cards comes out at just over 9/1 and that would make for a very fun match.
No Lose Single on the Betfair Exchange
Spain 1.422/5 are heavy favourites on the Betfair Exchange to beat Japan 9.617/2, knowing they are in pole position to qualify.
If you're betting over on the Exchange, you can place £10 on Spain to beat Japan, and if they fail to do so, you will get your money back as a free bet to use on any of the four matches the following day.
The good news for the punters is that Spain have never lost in five previous Worlsd Cup games with Asian sides, and have also won their final group game in eight of the last nine tournaments.
Head over to the Betfair Exchange to get involved.