Great Danes can put Japan to the sword
We've got a winner-takes-all match in Group E as Denmark take on Japan.
Thanks to the fact that Denmark (6/5) lost 2-0 to the Dutch while Japan (12/5, the draw is 11/5) only lost 1-0 against the Oranje, it's Samurai Blue that sit in the box seat and a draw would get them through, however I think Denmark will have too much for them and get the three points.
Despite them losing 2-0 in that aforementioned match, I think they've been the better of these two teams in their first two games and look to be better equipped for the knockout stage.
That's not to say Japan aren't a steady outfit, they did frustrate Holland in that match but in that game and the Cameroon game they didn't look particularly threatening in front of goal, having said that Denmark wasted a few chances in their encounter with the African side.
And because of the Dane's disastrous defending in the Cameroon game, Japan will get chances in this clash, they just can't afford to be as wasteful as they have been so far in this tournament.
The main culprits in the Denmark defence were Christian Poulsen and Simon Kjaer (who's suspended for this match), although Kjaer went some way to redeeming his poor showing at the back with a fantastic long range pass with led to the equaliser against Cameroon, there was some truly awful mix-ups though and if Japan can put them under pressure early doors they might just coax them into a few mistakes.
I'm not sure they'll attack from the off though, I imagine Takeshi Okada will set up his team to try contain the Danes for the first half and then have a go at them towards the end of the match, remember a draw will do for Samurai Blue so they don't need to take it to Denmark.
With this in mind the Double Result on Draw/Denmark appeals at 4/1, maybe if you're not certain on Morten Olsen's team getting the job done in the 2nd half though you could be more swayed by Draw in the 1st Half Betting market at 4/5, 0-0 in 1st Half Correct Score at 11/8 looks a good shout too.
A lot of games have been level at half-time throughout the tournament so far, so it wouldn't be a surprise if a match of this magnitude was still goalless after 45 minutes.
The men that could make the difference though for Denmark are their wide men, Dennis Rommedahl (8/1 first goal, 11/4 anytime) and Jesper Gronkjaer (14/1 first, 11/2 any); we might not have seen the best of either player really during their time in England, but they both have a good change of pace, can beat players and (Aaron Lennon take note) can deliver a telling cross for the strikers to attack.
If Japan fail to keep these two quiet then their chances of staying in the World Cup will surely suffer because of it.
The Asian outfit will be looking to Keisuke Honda (10/1 first, 7/2 anytime) to keep up his tag of lucky charm, the CSKA Moscow man has scored in five matches for Japan and they've won each one to nil, quite incredible really and all sorts of betting opportunities could be looked at to find some value in this.
Japan in To Win To Nil market is 15/4, Honda to score and Japan to win is 13/2 in the Anytime Wincast while if you want to take a risk on a scorecast bet then Honda first goal and Japan 1-0 could tempt you at a colossal 65/1.
Personally I'm not sure Japan will score as they'll try to hold out for the draw, but if Denmark do go ahead early in the match then you can be sure the Japanese will throw everything at them so keep tabs of the match In-Play, I just hope they're not as negative as Greece the other night.
With Nicklas Bendtner (13/2 first, 15/8 anytime) still struggling with injury I'm going for the captain Jon Dahl Tomasson (13/2 first, 15/8 anytime) to get the ball rolling for Denmark with the opener and the Danes to make it through to the next round.