Ivory Coast vs. Japan World Cup Soccer Odds & Pick

Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:23 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014 12:23 PM UTC

Yaya Toure and the Ivorians will enter their Group C opener against Japan as the favorites, but the margin is incredibly slim. What kind of outcome should we expect in regards to our soccer picks for this World Cup clash?
<p style="text-align:center"><b><span><iframe width="560" height="330" src="/video/embed/?videoId=20532" frameborder="0"></iframe></span></b></p> <p><br /><b>Odds Overview<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">The soccer betting lines are extremely tight for Saturday's match. </span><span style="font-size:1em">As it stands, <a href="/picks/more-sports/world-cup-betting-ivory-coast-must-capitalize-weak-group/38144/" title="Ivory Coast Must Capitalize in Weak Group" target="_blank">Ivory Coast is barely favored</a> at a price of approximately +160, with Japan available for backing at right around +200 and a draw at +220.</span></p> <p> [/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":252025, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/] <br /><b style="font-size:1em">Ivory Coast<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Ivory Coast, #21 in the FIFA rankings, will do battle with Japan, Colombia and Greece in <a href="/picks/more-sports/2014-world-cup-betting-best-odds-value-group-c/39882/" title="A general view at Group C soccer picks" target="_blank">Group C, one of the most balanced groups in the tournament.</a> Anyone could advance, meaning a positive result against the Japanese is of the utmost importance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Coming in, the Ivorians played three friendlies, though only two were recent. They started off with a 2-2 draw against a strong Belgium team back in March before losing to Bosnia (2-1) in late May. A few days later, however, they got that winning feeling by overcoming El Salvador 2-1.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">There is a good deal of experience within this Ivory Coast squad.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">It starts with captain Didier Drogba, who has 65 goals in 101 international appearances in his career. Then there's Yaya Toure, who has 81 caps for his country, and his brother Kolo, who's made 107 appearances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">The Ivorians don't have a shortage of attacking options at their disposal. Along with Drogba, there's the likes of Gervinho, Salomon Kalou and Wilfried Bony, so Japan (and the rest of the group) will have their hands full. Cheick Tiote, Arthur Boka and Didier Zokora are other players to keep an eye out for.</span></p> <p><br /><b style="font-size:1em">Japan<br /></b><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/soccer-betting/2894211-2014-japan-world-cup-preview.html" title="Japan World Cup Preview - Forum" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em">This Japanese side</a><span style="font-size:1em"> has been quite active in recent months. They played a friendly against New Zealand back in March (winning 4-2) and then took part in three more warm-ups in late May and early June.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Though they won all four of their matches (Cyprus, Costa Rica and Zambia were the three recent opponents), Japan didn't exactly face the most difficult of challenges, so it's hard to say how prepared they truly are.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">You can never really count out this country when it comes to the World Cup, however, as they've been known to pull off a surprise or two.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Japan will lean heavily on the likes of Keisuke Honda, a 27-year old playmaker who currently plays for AC Milan in the Serie A. He's scored 22 goals in 56 international appearances. Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki (a team-best 38 international goals) will also need to contribute in attack.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">In terms of experience, midfielder Yasuhito Endo will provide that in spades. He's made 144 caps in his career and has been a part of some great Japanese performances in the past. Yasuyuki Konno, Yuto Nagatomo, Atsuto Uchida and Makoto Hasebe also bring a wealth of experience to the table.</span></p> <p><br /><span style="font-size:1em"> </span><b style="font-size:1em">World Cup Pick<br /></b><a href="/picks/more-sports/2014-world-cup-betting-best-odds-value-group-c/39882/" title="Another take at the betting odds for Group C" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em">Group C is one of the more wide open groups</a><span style="font-size:1em"> in the World Cup and both Ivory Coast and Japan have a legitimate chance to advance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Getting a result here on Saturday would go a long way to making that a reality for either of these sides.</span></p> <p><a href="/picks/more-sports/" title="Soccer picks and betting odds" target="_blank" style="font-size:1em">So who will get it done?</a><span style="font-size:1em"> We don't see much separating these countries at all, making us believe a draw is the most likely of results at roughly +220 in the soccer betting odds. Both outfits looked strong in their warm-up friendlies and we think each would be relatively happy with a draw in this group stage opener.</span></p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">Free World Cup Pick: </b><span style="font-size:1em">Ivory Coast 1 Japan 1</span></p>
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