Japan and Argentina will meet in a winner-takes-all clash at the Rugby World Cup in Nantes on Sunday as both teams target qualifying for the quarter-finals from Pool D.

Japan vs Argentina Prediction

  • Argentina -16.5 @ 6/5
  • Juan Martin Gonzalez to score a try anytime @ 9/4

Match odds

The two teams are locked together on nine points in the standings with second-placed Argentina sitting ahead of Japan in third by virtue of their superior points difference.

Los Pumas also boast a superior record in their head-to-head meetings with Japan, winning three of their four previous encounters and they are the 1/5 favourites to get the victory they need to secure their progress.

A draw would also be enough to see Argentina qualify and that can be backed at 28/1, while Japan are available at 4/1 as they aim to reach the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup for the second tournament in a row.

In the handicap market Argentina are 10/11 to prevail at -13.5, while Japan are 5/6 to win with a +13.5 handicap.

Team news

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has opted for continuity with his team selections throughout this tournament and that has continued for this must-win game, with the only change seeing Siosaia Fifita replace Jone Naikabula on the left wing.

By contrast, Michael Cheika has made 11 changes to his starting XV from last week’s 59-5 victory over Chile, with only Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez and Lucio Cinti keeping their places.

Argentina -16.5 @ 6/5

Argentina have reached the knockout stages of three of the last four World Cups and they will fancy their chances of extending that record by beating a perhaps more battle-weary Japan.

Los Pumas had the luxury of being able to rotate their line-up for last weekend’s victory over group whipping boys Chile, with the likes of Emiliano Boffelli and captain Julian Montoya getting a well-earned rest ahead of this crunch game.

Japan could do no such thing, going full pelt in another game they could not afford to lose against Samoa, and they may struggle to recover in time from that bruising encounter in Toulouse.

With a more refreshed Argentina having won three of the four previous meetings between these two sides, the last two of which have been by more than 30 points, Los Pumas certainly look good value to cover the -16.5 handicap.

Juan Martin Gonzalez to score a try anytime @ 9/4

There is only one Argentina player that has scored more than one try at this year’s World Cup and that is back rower Juan Martin Gonzalez, who crossed twice in the victory over Chile.

The Saracens ace, who will play at number eight against Japan, has now contributed nine tries for his country and, with Argentina likely to dominate in the scrum, his power could lead to him taking his tally into double figures. 

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