class=”article_teaser__2t5do”>Having proved watertight at the back so far, Al Hain-Cole is backing Moriyasu’s side to ensure a closely fought bronze medal clash against El Tri
Hosts Japan will be hoping to secure their first ever Olympic medal in men’s soccer when they take on Mexico at the Saitama Stadium 2002 in Friday’s bronze medal match.
Hajime Moriyasu’s side have already equalled their best ever performance at this tournament, reaching the semi-final stage for the second time after London 2012.
Mexico vs Japan latest odds
Defeated by South Korea in the bronze medal match on that occasion, Japan can be backed at 17/10 (2.70) with bet365 to go one better by coming out on top here.
Mexico’s only previous medal remains the gold they won in surprise circumstances in 2012 but they are available at 8/5 (3.60) to add a bronze to their collection with a victory.
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Both of these sides held out for 90 minutes in their respective semi-final defeats to Spain and Brazil, and you can get odds of 11/5 (3.20) on them remaining all square after 90 minutes once again.
Mexico vs Japan team news
Takehiro Tomiyasu is available once again after missing the Spain semi-final due to suspension, with Ko Itakura likely to drop out in defence.
Jorge Sanchez is also back from suspension after missing the Brazil defeat and will be hoping to take the left-back spot ahead of Alberto Angulo.
Mexico vs Japan preview
Tomiyasu’s return will add further steel to a backline that has already proved the tournament’s best so far this summer, conceding just twice in five matches so far.
Having held out until the 115th minute against Spain without their first-choice centre-back, they will certainly back themselves to make life very difficult for a team they overcame 2-1 in the group stage.
Jaime Lozano’s men struggled for cutting edge in their semi-final against Brazil, albeit demonstrating admirable resilience to take the match all the way to penalties in a closely-fought goalless stalemate.
Mexico vs Japan tips & predictions
With an Olympic medal at stake, even money (2.00) seems generous on this match proving equally tight and Japan ensuring under 2.5 goals for their third match in a row when they take on Mexico.
All odds correct at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.