Japan - Greece Betting Preview: Back Honda to sink Santos' struggling side

Both suffered defeat in their opening fixture but our tipster is backing the AC Milan midfielder to inspire Alberto Zaccheroni's side to victory over the out-of-sorts Greeks
Following defeat against Cote d'Ivorie and Colombia respectively in their opening World Cup 2014 group games, Japan and Greece meet in Natal on Thursday knowing that victory is essential to their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

Alberto Zaccheroni's men squandered a 1-0 lead as they lost 2-1 against the African side at the weekend but the Asian champions are favourites to bounce back by claiming full points from their clash with the 2004
European champions, with William Hill offering 23/20 (2.15) for a Japanese win.

Greece lost 3-0 to Colombia last Saturday and Fernando Santos' side will need a significantly better performance here if they are to stand any chance of keeping their hopes of reaching the last 16 alive.

William Hill offer a chunky 5/2 (3.50) quote for a Greece victory in Natal while the same firm go just 9/4 (3.25) that Thursday's Group C clash ends in stalemate.

Keisuke Honda broke the deadlock for Japan in their defeat against Cote d'Ivorie at the weekend and the AC Milan midfielder is likely to be a key protagonist for Zaccheroni's charges once again when they face Santos' side.

The 28-year-old has notched three goals in his last two appearances for the Asian champions and Honda looks to be a solid selection at a juicy 17/10 (2.70) with William Hill to score at any time against Greece, while the same firm offer 5/1 (6.0) on the Milan man opening the scoring.

Theofanis Gekas came closest to finding the net for Santos' side against Colombia with a second-half header that came back off the crossbar and the veteran front man can be backed at a chunky 8/1 (9.0) to open the scoring in Natal.

Greece, though, have drawn a blank in four of their last five matches and, with a tight encounter anticipated when these two sides meet, it is little surprise that the odds compilers go just 13/20 (1.65) that Thursday’s match features fewer than three goals.

Better value lies in backing Honda to make his mark and punters should snap up the juicy 17/10 (2.70) quote for the 28-year-old to find the net at any time on Thursday.

Keisuke Honda to score at any time at 17/10 (2.70) 1pt stake with William Hill

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