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World Cup Day Eight: Japan v. Greece

Having lost their opening matches, Japan and Greece both need a win tonight to keep their fading World Cup dreams alive.

Matthias Hangst
SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

Japan v. Greece
Wednesday, June 18th | 11PM BST/6PM EST
Television Listings | Full Schedule

Group C

Despite arriving with high hopes, an opening match loss to Cote d'Ivoire where they were outplayed for long stretches brought Japan's World Cup hopes down to earth. They aren't a bad side, with some technical skill in midfield and pace out wide, but they lack the talent to impose themselves on opponents. That means staying organised at the back and relying on a counter game. Which is all well and good unless you're playing a defensive side that doesn't like to commit numbers forward.

Greece are that defensive side, lacking the attacking talent to even play effective counter-attacking football and relying on grinding out results—with perhaps a late goal off a set-piece earning the odd victory. So while Greece certainly need the win tonight, that doesn't mean they're likely to change their approach: looking to frustrate Japan and hoping their superior size and strength can earn them a goal off a corner or free kick. It will probably be terrible to watch.

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