Japan vs Croatia: 2022 World Cup, Round of 16, Match Preview and Predictions

Resident World Cup 2022 giant killers Japan will endeavour to pull off another impressive scalp at the tournament when they tackle Croatia in Monday's last-16 clash at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Japan vs Croatia: 2022 World Cup, Round of 16, Match Preview and Predictions

Japan vs Croatia is next as The World Cup's surprise package Japan face Croatia in the round of 16 on Monday afternoon.

Match Details:

  • Location: Al Wakrah, Qatar
  • Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
  • Date: Monday 5 December
  • Kick-off Time: 8:30 PM IST
  • Watch: Sports 18/HD, Jio Cinema App

Japan vs Croatia: Match Preview:

Japan produced the most wacko group stage performance of any team at the World Cup, with their defeat to lowly Costa Rica sandwiched between a pair of giant upsets over Germany and Spain. It's the highs that overtook the lows as the Samurai Blue advanced in dramatic fashion to the knockout stage.

— HNS (@HNS_CFF) December 4, 2022

They take on Croatia, the second place finishers from 2018, in the Round of 16, as Luka Modric's side finished second in Group F behind Morocco.

Croatia have conceded just a single goal thus far, engineering a pair of scoreless draws while blasting Canada 4-1. Still, they were poor at times, hanging on for dear life against Belgium in the finale and seeing the Red Devils out.

— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵 (@jfa_samuraiblue) December 3, 2022

This match will present a fascinating chess match, as Croatia are happy slowing the game down against a Japan team that's been gangbusters after the halftime break.

Team News:


Hiroki Sakai and Takehiro Tomiyasu have both been struggling with hamstring problems but the pair made Japan's bench against Spain on Thursday. Tomiyasu came on as a second-half substitute and may be drafted in from the start after centre-back Ko Itakura collected a suspension-inducing second yellow card.

— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵 (@jfa_samuraiblue) December 4, 2022

Three of Japan's four goals this winter have come from substitutes, so who Moriyasu leaves on the bench may be as important as those that start.


Zlatko Dalic has employed minimal rotation throughout the tournament. With a clean bill of health for his entire squad, the coach has the luxury of sticking with his trusted starters once again.

— HNS (@HNS_CFF) December 4, 2022

Japan vs Croatia: Head to Head:

This will be the third time that both sides square off at the World Cup. They were grouped together in Group F in 2006 and played out a goalless draw en route to both sides' elimination at the group stage. They also squared off in Group H in 1998 when Croatia claimed a 1-0 win before finishing in third spot in their maiden appearance at the World Cup.

Japan are seeking to qualify for the quarterfinal of the World Cup for the first time in their history. Croatia are on a nine-game unbeaten run, having not lost an international game since their 3-0 defeat to Austria in the UEFA Nations League.

— HNS (@HNS_CFF) December 4, 2022

Japan's four goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup have come courtesy of substitutes (three goals and one assist).

Croatia have made it to the semifinal on each of the previous two occasions when they progressed from the group stage.

Predicted Line-ups:

Japan Starting 11 (3-4-3): Gonda; Tomiyasu, Yoshida, H Ito; J Ito, Endo, Tanaka, Nagatomo; Doan, Asano, Kamada.

Bench: Kawashima, Schmidt, Taniguchi, Morita, Shibasaki, Minamino, Maeda, Soma, Kubo, Machino, Ueda, Mitoma, Sakai, Yamane.

— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵 (@jfa_samuraiblue) December 4, 2022

Croatia Starting 11 (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic.

Bench: Grbic, Ivusic, Erlic, Sutalo, Vida, Barisic, Stanisic, Jakic, Majer, Pasalic, Sucic, Vlasic, Orsic, Budimir, Petkovic.

JAP vs CRO: Dream11 Predictions:


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