Brave Blossoms still in contention
Samoa look to hit back
Japan favoured on handicap
Japan v Samoa
Live on ITV4
Japan still hold knockout hopes
Japan and Samoa lock horns on Thursday night with both teams still in contention to progress to the knockout stage. England are in command of their pool but these two teams and Argentina can still join them in the quarter-finals, increasing the significance of this clash.
The Brave Blossoms bloomed at their home World Cup four years ago but this current team are not the same calibre. A comfortable victory over Chile in France this month was followed by a 34-12 defeat against England. Japan will need to be ruthless in taking their opportunities against a powerful Samoa side but this game gives them a realistic chance of a win.
Samoa also opened up with a routine victory over Chile before giving Argentina a challenge in their 19-10 defeat to the Pumas. Head coach Seilala Mapusua spent five years playing in Japan and his familiarity with their opponents could give them a slight edge.
These two teams look well matched and the most recent meeting backs this up. Samoa edged to a 24-22 victory over Japan at the Pacific Nations Cup in July, with very little between the sides. But Michael Leitch was sent off in this game and Japan will feel they can prevail if they keep 15 players on the pitch in Toulouse.
Japan have won three of the last four matches against Samoa and yet the Brave Blossoms are [2.78] to win this contest. This bet will appeal to some but preference is to side with Japan in the handicap market. Afforded a four-point advantage, Japan are worth backing in a match which could easily go either way.
Who will win the Rugby World Cup? Latest betting odds
South Africa and Ireland are joint [3/1] favourites to win the World Cup following their heavyweight showdown in the pool stage. Hosts France are next in the betting at 16/54.20 with pool rivals New Zealand closely following at 7/24.50.
There is a significant gap to the next team, with England available at 11/112.00. Wales have shortened to 22/123.00 in the outright betting following their emphatic win over Australia, with Fiji available at 30/131.00.
Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster