Friday, May 31, 2013
Posted: 31 May 2013 07:45 AM PDT
Japan's hopes of clinching an unlikely title at the 2013 Confederations Cup later this June already appear in tatters after the squad fell to a second defeat within a week on Thursday night.
The Japanese national side played a friendly against Bulgaria in Toyota as preparations for two World Cup qualifiers and failed to impress sports betting fans during their 2-0 loss.
The defeat came four days after a disappointing 2-1 qualification loss to Jordan, which means they cannot secure safe passage to next summer's World Cup until later this week.
In fact, they couldn't have had a worse preparation heading into games against Australia and Iraq and even if they win these two fixtures are unlikely to find much success out in Brazil.
Japan are set to book their place in the World Cup and will use their Confederations Cup experience this summer to acclimatise to the South American conditions. They face Brazil, Mexico and Italy in Group A and are favourites to finish bottom on Betfair's sports odds.
Yet winning is not everything at the Confederations Cup and the experience of Brazil's varying conditions is far more important for head coach Alberto Zaccheroni. They play in Brasilia, Recife and Belo Horizonte – three completely different cities that cover a huge expanse of the country.
This will put Japan in good stead for the World Cup next year, regardless of the results. Should they beat Australia and Iraq this week they may go on to prove an upset against Mexico and the hosts, although second place in Group A behind Italy is the most they can hope for.
Betting fans are advised not to back Japan for glory this summer and instead consider how far they can go in one year's time. That's what Zaccheroni will be most focussed upon and the results should show at the World Cup.
Not interested in the Confederations Cup? Check out the latest odds on Champions League on the Betfair website.
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