Will the Samurai Blue leave nothing to chance in Jeddah?
With the first two qualifying rounds also serving as qualifiers for the 2027 Asian Championship, the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in the Asian zone are already in full swing. 46 nations are battling it out for eight guaranteed spots for the finals in the USA, Mexico and Canada as well as a place in the intercontinental play-offs. The clash between Syria and Japan will take place on Tuesday on neutral ground in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah – betting tips and odds are provided by Wettbasis in this article
Both teams got off to a good start in Group B of the AFC World Cup Qualifiers 2026. While Syria beat North Korea 1-0 on neutral ground at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah, Japan swept aside Myanmar 5-0. Results that already suggest that Syria’s next win against Japan will be a much higher prediction for Samurai Blue
The last test match between the two nations in 2017 ended in a draw (1-1). However, the Samurai Blue won both the first leg on neutral ground in Oman (3-0) and the return leg in Saitama (5-0) in the competitive matches that preceded the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
It is therefore interesting to apply a generous handicap to the Samurai Blue, who recently climbed to 18th place in the FIFA world rankings thanks to their good performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We recommend a handicap of -2 and are betting that Japan will win by at least three goals.
Syria – statistics & current form
The Syrian national soccer team has never successfully qualified for a World Cup before, but has at least participated in six Asian Championships. So far, however, they have always finished in the preliminary round.
At the 2019 Asian Championship, the Qasioun Eagles (Arabic: “Nosour Qasioun”) finished bottom of their group behind Jordan, Australia and Palestine with just one point out of a possible nine.
1:0 opening win against North Korea
In three of the last four qualifying rounds for World Cups, Syria have always finished in the second round. At least in 2022, however, the Arabs made it to the 3rd round, in which they won only one of ten international matches (three draws, six defeats).
Now the Qasioun Eagles have at least started Group B of the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers with a win. Last Thursday, the Syrians won 1:0 against North Korea under their coach Héctor Cúper, who has been in office since 2023. Nevertheless, the odds are now clearly against another victory for the Syrian selection in Syria v Japan
Only won three of the last 14 international matches
Not only have the 92nd-placed team in the FIFA world rankings lost nine of their last 14 international matches (three wins, two draws), but the Syrians also clearly lack quality. Ten of the 23 nominated players earn their money in the little-noticed Syrian league or in the national leagues of surrounding countries.
Of Héctor Cúper’s current squad, only Abdul Rahman Weiss and Ammar Ramadan have made the leap to the European leagues. The former plays for Athens Kallithea in the second-highest Greek league, while Ramadan is under contract with Dunajska Streda – currently sixth in the Slovakian top division. Ultimately, the Syrian squad is therefore only at the approximate level of a German third division team.
Predicted Syria line-up:
Alma – Al Midani – Kerdagli – Krouma – Weiss – Osman – Al Mawas – Ham – Ramadan – Al-Somah – Kharbin
Japan – Statistics & current form
The Japanese national soccer team has made a remarkable leap forward, especially in the last two decades. Since the Japanese made their debut at World Cup level at the 1998 World Cup, the Samurai Blue have not missed a single World Cup.
In four of their seven appearances, they even made it as far as the round of 16, although just last winter in Qatar they were drawn against two real heavyweights in the same preliminary group, Spain and Germany, both of whom they managed to beat.
Japan started with a brilliant 5:0 victory over Myanmar
The Japanese have also won the Asian Championship four times, including a 3-1 defeat in the final against Qatar in the United Arab Emirates in 2019. However, the Samurai Blue are also currently in an excellent position. Japan have won all of their last seven international matches in a row, scoring 29 goals to 5.
Just last Thursday, coach Hajime Moriyasu’s side recorded a brilliant 5-0 home win over Myanmar in the first match of Group B of the second round of the AFC World Cup Qualifiers 2026. Accordingly, the betting is now on Syria against Japan that the Samurai Blue can build on this on neutral ground in Saudi Arabia
Namous squad of players in all the top European leagues
The upswing of the Japanese national soccer team is also quickly explained by a look at the prominent squad. 17 of the 23 nominated players earn their living in the European leagues and play a leading role for well-known clubs.
These include Wataru Endo (Liverpool), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting Lisbon), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Rotsu Doan (Freiburg) and Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord). That’s simply too much quality across the board, which is why we expect the Samurai Blue to win by a similar margin to the first matchday.
Predicted Japan line-up:
Osako – Nakayama – Machida – Taniguchi – Maikuma – Tanaka – Kamada – Soma – Minamino – Doan – Ueda
Syria – Japan Direct comparison / H2H balance
Head to head: 0 – 2 – 9
Eleven international matches have taken place between the two nations so far and never before has the Syrian side recorded a victory against Japan. The Samurai Blue also beat Syria in the last two competitive matches in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a resounding 8-0 win after the first and second legs
Syria – Japan betting tip
The betting odds for Syria v Japan are clearly in favor of the Samurai Blue, who, as number 18 in the FIFA world rankings, are of course a completely different team to the underdogs from Syria. While there are a number of top-class players in the Japanese squad, the Qasioun Eagles have hardly any quality. The fact that the Japanese national team have never lost an international match against Syria before (nine wins, two draws) also indicates that a one-sided affair is to be expected
The Samurai Blue swept aside the Syrians in both legs of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, scoring a total of 8:0 goals. Our prediction for Syria v Japan is therefore a clear victory for the Japanese selection.
We apply a generous handicap of -2 to the Japanese and are therefore betting that the Syrian selection will lose by at least three goals difference