On Friday lunchtime at the Saitama Stadium 2002, Japan Under-23s and Mexico Under-23s will compete for the right to wear the bronze medal around their necks. Their hopes of Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020 are now dead in the water. When they were defeated in extra time by Spain the hosts’ Olympic dream came to an end in the semi-finals while Mexico was outclassed from 12 yards by Brazil’s young stars. Here is everything you need to know about Japan vs Mexico football prediction for the Tokyo Olympics Men’s football games.
Takehiro Tomiyasu with Japan returns for the bronze medal match after serving a suspension against Spain, which may force Manchester City’s Ko Itakura to drop out of the backline.
Moriyasu is now under pressure to find the right attacking formula for Friday’s game and with the return of the Bologna man, Japan is well-stocked ahead of their shot at glory.
Daichi Hayashi was trusted from the first whistle in the semi-final but failed to make the net ripple, implying that opportunities for Daizen Maeda or Ayase Ueda to lead the frontline could exist.
Mexico also has a player back from suspension in Jorge Sanchez, who could play at right or left back in place of Vladimir Lorona or Jesus Angulo.
Rodriguez could now be recalled to the midfield in place of Jose Esquivel, the 24-year-old was only able to play as a substitute after returning from suspension in the semi-final.
Real Betis starlet Diego Lainez may have to settle for a bench spot once more with Lozano likely to stick with his attacking trident of Uriel Antuna, Henry Martin, and Alexis Vega.
Japan vs Mexico Prediction
Hajime Moriyasu’s team performed admirably while the 2020 Games lacked the raucous home crowds that Japan’s players desired. Japan went undefeated through the group stage and defeating New Zealand on penalties in the tournament’s final eight.
The host nation knows what it takes to beat Mexico after doing so in the group stages less than two weeks ago. The return of Tomiyasu is a significant boost for a Japan team that already has some well-known names in its ranks.
Lozano’s men demonstrated their goal-scoring prowess against South Korea, but the two fatigued squads are unlikely to play out a high-scoring affair on Friday, and we predict Japan to narrowly win this match and claim only their second-ever medal in men’s Olympic football.
Japan Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Tani; Sakai, Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Hatate; Endo, Tanaka; Doan, Kubo, Soma; Hayashi
Mexico Under-23s possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Vasquez, Angulo; Romo, Rodriguez, Cordova; Antuna, Martin, Vega
Our Prediction: Japan Under-23s 1-0 Mexico Under-23s