That stalemate was the first time in seven fixtures that Roberto Martinez’s team has failed to emerge victorious, but they are clear 1/4 (1.25) favourites with Paddy Power to bounce back by coming out on top here.
The Samurai Blue have won both of the last two meetings between the teams, and are on offer at 17/2 (9.50) to make it three in a row with a shock victory in Bruges.
Friday’s draw was the third in four friendly matches for the hosts, and the teams can be backed at 9/2 (5.50) to play out another stalemate in this one.
Despite sealing qualification for the World Cup by taking 28 points from a possible 30 in their group, there are still suspicions that the Red Devils are not performing to the full potential of such a talented squad.
Indeed, one of the most vocal criticisms of recent performances came from one of their star players, with Kevin De Bruyne questioning the tactics employed in the 3-3 draw with Mexico.
Considering that was the second time in three matches that Martinez’s side have conceded three goals, it is hard to argue with the suggestion that the balance is not quite right.
Equally aware of the problem, the former Everton manager has used recent friendly matches to tinker with formations and systems, leading to a less than impressive run of just one win in five exhibition games.
Having scored nine but conceded 10 goals in those five fixtures, at least the Belgians have been providing plenty of entertainment for neutrals.
In fact, odds of 6/5 (2.20) look like solid value on them producing at least four goals for their fifth game in six when they take on a Japan team that has seen 13 scored in the last three games.
|Over 3.5 goals at 6/5 (2.20) for a 1.5pt stake with Paddy Power|