Japan vs Croatia : Match preview, team news and possible lineups

Last Updated on 04/12/2022 by

As the knockout rounds are progressing Croatia will face Japan, as both teams are aiming for the quarterfinals.

It was quite a surprise in group E when Japan emerged as the group winners. Regardless to say, they have achieved quite some impressive feats by defeating giants like Germany and Spain. The Samurai Blue have shown impressive tenacity and work rate in those games which deservedly gave them the group winner title.

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Croatia on the other hand, were the runner up of the 2018 World Cup where they failed to defeat France. Croatia finished second in group F just behind Morocco. Croatia boast an impressive record in knockout stages of World Cup, as well as they also boast experience with veterans like Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.

Japan Team News

Japan will be missing an important piece in the center back position. Kou Itakura, who accumulated his second yellow against Spain will be suspended in upcoming match against Croatia. It surely is a setback for Japan as Itakura played important role in Japanese defense.
Hiroki Sakai, another experience player in Japanese lineup is still struggling with injury and will not be present for this clash.

However, Takehiro Tomiyasu will be able to return from his leg injury. Tomiyasu who have been impressive in his club careers in Italy and England can be very influential for Japan. Wataru Endo who used as substitute against Spain, could also make his way in starting lineup.

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Either of the stars, Ritsu Doan or Takuma Asano is expected to be in starting lineup. Both players have been very influential for Japan with their goal contribution and work rate.

For this match Japan Coach Hajime Moriyasu said,

“We have advanced past the group stage, but we are staying calm and not getting too excited. We are embracing this as a new challenge, and there is a good vibe around the team. The players have experienced three matches at this World Cup, so they’ll be ready. If the game ends in a draw, we will play extra time and then possibly a penalty shoot-out. We’ll prepare well to increase our chances of winning, even if it’s by only one or two per cent.”

Expected lineup for Japan

Shuichi Gonda, Yuto Nagatomo, Shogo Taniguchi, Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Junya Ito, Wataru Endo, Hidemasa Morita, Takefusa Kubo, Daichi Kamada, Takuma Asano

Croatia Team News

japan vs croatia
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Croatia on the other hand, have no worries in case of injuries as not a single player of their squad is injured. There are also no suspensions for Croatia. They are less likely to take any risk against japan so we expect them to keep their strongest lineup which they used against Belgium in 0-0 draw.

For this upcoming clash Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said,

“I think this will be a tough match for both teams. When Spain scored the opening goal, I thought Japan were finished, but they never gave up and deserved their victory. The fact that Germany, Belgium and Denmark have all been eliminated illustrates just how strong other teams have been at this World Cup. In the past, I might have picked Japan as an opponent that we would want to play, but they have defeated both Germany and Spain. This certainly will not be an easy game for us.”

Expected lineup for Croatia

Dominik Livakovic, Borna Sosa, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Josip Juranovic, Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic, Marko Livaja, Andrej Kramaric

japan vs croatia
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Both sides will be looking to make way to quarterfinals. It will be an interesting match as both teams have tenacity to win the game even by just 1 goal. For Croatia it is their third time competing for quarterfinals while for Japan it is the first time.


Netherlands 3-1 USA : Oranjes are through to Quarterfinals

South Korea 2-1 Portugal : Koreans secured knockout spot with an incredible late goal

Australia 1-0 Denmark : Socceroos book their spot in knockout phase

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