Japan vs ScotlandWomen's World Cup, KO: 14:00 Jun 14, 2019, Roazhon Park
SCOTLAND made their first appearance at the Women's World Cup last Sunday and next up they face Japan for the first time on Friday afternoon.
Having won the World Cup in 2011 and finishing runners-up in 2015 the Japanese are more accustomed to major tournaments than the Scots and as such the Asian outfit are 4/6 (bet365) favourites to take all three points .
Japan already have one point on the board following a drab 0-0 draw with Argentina and a repeat of that outcome and a share of the spoils with Scotland is on offer at 13/5 (bet365)
Scotland failed to get off the mark last Sunday against a superior England team, however Shelley Kerr will be encouraged with her sides second half showing, yet the bookies don't believe that will count for much with a Scottish win an unfancied 4/1 (William Hill)
The Japanese evidently have more pedigree and quality than their opponents but were uninspiring against Argentina whereas Scotland will have been enthused by their second-half display against star-studded England.
Claire Emslie scored for the Scots in their maiden World Cup match to give the English a scare and having tipped Both Teams to Score in the Auld Enemy encounter that is a market that could be worth revisiting in Rennes.
Japan may have shut out Argentina on Monday but that clean sheet is the only one they have registered in their last eight games and Scotland are more than capable of scoring goals having done so in their last six matches.
Furthermore, 10 of Scotland's last 13 outings have seen both teams hit the back of the net and the same can be said for Japan in five of their last seven fixtures.
With that in mind, I like the look of the 10/11 (bet365) on offer for Both Teams to Score.
What'smore, having tipped over 2.5 goals in Scotland's World Cup opener I'm feeling inclined to do so again here on account of the fact over 2.5 goals have been scored in five of Scotland's last nine matches.
In addition to that, five of Japan's last seven games have ended with over 2.5 goals and a repeat of than in north-west France is a notable 11/10 (Paddy Power)
Not to mention, a win here would represent both of these sides best opportunity to progress to the knockout stages so there could come a point in this clash where both country's have to take risks to remain in the competition.
In considering which side may claim their first World Cup 2019 success I suspect this will be a much closer game than the bookmakers are suggesting.
Japan appear to be a team in transition and living off past glories and will be facing an upbeat Scotland side who will believe they can reach the last 16.
Exciting young Scottish forward Erin Cuthbert cut an isolated figure against England and if the Scots can get more support to their young standard bearer it could prove to be decisive in setting up a dramatic climax to Group D in Paris next Wednesday.
Based on their recent performances the Scottish ladies look overpriced at 4/1 (William Hill) however Japan are an accomplished outfit, so an alternative angle to consider is Scotland on the Double Chance at 5/4 (bet365).
This Women's World Cup match between Japan and Scotland will be played on Jun 14, 2019 and kick off at 14:00