FIFA World Cup
December 5, 2022, 9:00 pm
Japan is going head to head with Croatia starting on 5 Dec 2022 at 15:00 UTC at Al Janoub Stadium stadium, Al Wakrah city, Qatar. The match is a part of the World Cup, Knockout stage.
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.
Hajime Moriyasu’s men remarkably finished first in Group E above Spain and Germany, while the 2018 runners-up were forced to settle for second in Group F behind Morocco.
Japan manager Moriyasu witnessed defender Ko Itakura pick up his second yellow card of the World Cup in the win over Spain, meaning that he will be suspended for the last-16 battle, so Takehiro Tomiyasu should come in to deputise after also performing well off the bench in midweek.
Stuttgart midfielder Wataru Endo shook off a fitness concern to come on as a substitute in that game, and right-back Hiroki Sakai has also rejoined training, but Takefusa Kubo is a fresh doubt due to muscular discomfort.
Not for the first time in Qatar, the Japan boss is facing the best kind of selection dilemma in the final third, where Doan has surely done enough to come in for the stricken Kubo, but Mitoma’s efforts may not be enough to edge out Daichi Kamada.
As for Croatia, Dalic is unsure if left-back Borna Sosa will be available for the contest as the Stuttgart man battles a fever, while fellow defender Josip Stanisic is set to miss out with a muscular problem.
Dalic should otherwise have all of his options available, but veteran pair Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren will miss any potential quarter-final if they are booked here.
Neither man will lose their place in the XI here, though, with Dalic set to stick with his tried-and-tested 4-3-3 formula, but there could be scope for a change or two in the final third.