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After five weeks of action, the first stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup finally comes to a close on Sunday with Japan versus Argentina the first match of the triple-header. This Pool D clash will decide who will join England in the quarter final with both sides having taken nine points from three matches so far. The Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes will be the venue for this mouth-watering winner takes all clash so read on for our in depth preview.
Japan vs Argentina match predictions
This will be the seventh time these sides have gone head to head but the first time since 2016. It is only the second clash at a Rugby World Cup after Argentina won 33-12 in the first fixture between the teams after Japan’s only victory in the previous game.
Argentina to win by 20 or more points @ 7/4 (2.75)
Both Japan and Argentina have beaten Chile and Samoa but have been defeated by England. Looking at the points difference, it is clear that Argentina have been the better of the two with +46 compared to +14 and we are backing them to win by 20 or more points in this match.
Juan Cruz Malia to be first try scorer @ 9/1 (10.00)
The 27 year old back is yet to get his first try in the tournament but he comes into this match with an excellent international record. He will be a big threat to Japan’s line and he is our tip to be the first try scorer on Sunday afternoon.
Argentina to have too much quality for Japan and to progress to the last eight
After coming into the tournament in strong form, Argentina were many pundits’ favourites to win the group. They lost their opener to England but are now targeting their third successive win.
It is no surprise to see Japan still in the running for the quarter final stage coming into this final match of the pool. However, their performances have not been majorly convincing in this tournament. If the Brave Blossoms are to progress, they will need to produce their best performance of their stay in France over the last five weeks.
Japan last five:
Japan 28-22 Samoa
England 34-12 Japan
Japan 42-12 Chile
Italy 42-21 Japan
Japan 12-35 Fiji
Chile were put to the sword by a large margin last Saturday and Argentina will progress to the next stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a win by any margin over Japan. With such a strong head to head record, we expect there to be plenty of confidence in the Argentina camp ahead of this clash in Nantes.
Argentina last five:
Argentina 59-5 Chile
Argentina 19-10 Samoa
England 27-10 Argentina
Spain 3-62 Argentina
Argentina 13-24 South Africa
Date & Time: Sunday 8th October, 14:00 UK time
Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
How to watch in UK: This final Pool A game will be shown in full by ITV.
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