Spain Predicted Lineup vs Japan

Spain's Forward Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring as he could be in the Spain predicted lineup vs Japan

Spain is hoping to win their World Cup group by defeating a resurgent Japan side on Thursday. See Last Word on Football’s Spain predicted lineup for their Group E finale against Japan as here is Spain predicted lineup vs Japan.

Spain Predicted Lineup vs Japan

Embed from Getty Images

How Spain Has Lined-up Recently

Luis Enrique appears to have finalized a settled starting XI of players in the first few matches of the World Cup. In a surprising move, he has dropped Manchester City midfielder Rodri to operate as a centre-back in his system for the competition – allowing captain Sergio Busquets to play in that deeper holding midfield role.

Read More: Canada Predicted Lineup for Morocco Clash

The ex-Barcelona manager has been quite reliant on players from his former side, with midfielders Pedri and Gavi seeming to have guaranteed berths in his midfield. In the front line, Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo have been in the flanks – with Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio operating in a rotating centre-forward role. Because of the importance of the game against Japan, which they have to win to clinch the group, Enrique is unlikely to make too many changes from the lineups from the previous games.

Spain’s Recent Form and Tactics

La Roja has maintained a solid run of form heading into the World Cup, having won six of the nine games they played heading into the competition. They started their World Cup campaign in phenomenal fashion, picking up a huge 7-0 win over Costa Rica. No other team has been able to topple that kind of a deficit so far at the Qatar World Cup.

Spain saw their surging momentum hit the brakes a little bit with their 1-1 draw against Germany. Despite dominating the majority of that game, they were undone by a loss in concentration towards the end. That means La Roja will need to win their final game against an unpredictable Japanese side to come out of the group stages on top of Group E.

Enrique has gotten his side to play the kind of possession-heavy, ‘total football’ that the national side has earned a reputation for producing in this century. Spain has heavily dominated their last two World Cup games, boasting 82% possession against Costa Rica and 64% against Germany. They can be a thorn in the side of any opposition team, frustrating them with their quick passing style and forcing them into making mistakes.

Read More: Discussing Talking Points as United States Beat Iran 1-0 to Advance to Round of 16

Pedri, Gavi, and Busquets are key in implementing this style perfectly. They tend to be the ‘creators’ from the middle, moving the ball along and always trying to send their teammates through on goal by spotting the gaps in the opponent’s backline. Olmo is a bit of an x-factor in the team, often popping up with surging shots on goal and getting into open areas out of nowhere. Asensio and Ferran’s movement adds a dynamic nature to their frontline, while Spain’s high defensive line helps them keep the pressure piled on their opponents.

They’ll need to be patient with their possession-heavy style against Japan, who can be defensively quite strong. Enrique will need his side to take whatever chances they get and convert them clinically to pick up another comfortable win at the World Cup.

Spain Injuries to Consider

Gavi suffered a slight injury in Spain’s 1-1 draw against Germany, which means he could be on the bench for this game. Before the World Cup, La Roja was dealt a blow as their left-back Jose Gaya picked up an injury that ruled him out of the tournament. Sergio Busquets is also one yellow card away from suspension.

Spain Predicted Lineup

Unai Simon, Dani Carvajal, Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Koke, Pedri, Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres, Marco Asensio