Japan vs. Croatia: Prediction, Team News, Lineups

Japan vs Croatia score prediction: Residents of the 2022 World Cup gigantic killers Japan will want to take another stunning scalp at the tournament when they face Croatia in the last-16 match on Monday at the Al Janoub Stadium.
Hajime Moriyasu's men finished top in Group E, ahead of Spain and Germany, while the 2018 runners-up placed second in Group F, behind Morocco.

#1. Match preview

Japan vs. Croatia: Prediction, Team News, LineupsSource: Reuters

Japan advanced to the last-16 of the World Cup after their dramatic 2-1 victory over Spain, thanks to a goal from Ao Tanaka, who was a half-time substitution. They are now hoping to make their first quarter-final appearance, and set up an all-Asian clash with South Korea, but must first see out their last-16 clash against an unknown opponent. Romelu Lukaku had several chances to score for his team, but failed to convert any of them.
Croatia qualified for the knockout rounds of the World Cup by finishing second in Group F, thanks to their tenacious defence and four goals scored against Canada. They enter the last-16 game against Japan undefeated in nine games across all events and have advanced from both of their previous World Cup fixtures at this level.
Subsequently losing 4-3 to Japan in their first encounter 25 years ago, Croatia has since beaten the Samurai Blue in the 1998 World Cup before playing to a goalless draw in the 2006 edition, and another low-scoring battle in Qatar is not out of the question in their last-16 matchup.

#2. Team News

Japan vs. Croatia: Prediction, Team News, LineupsSource: Reuters

Japan manager Moriyasu has a selection issue in the final third for their last-16 clash due to defender Ko Itakura receiving his second yellow card of the World Cup, meaning he will be sidelined. Takehiro Tomiyasu could step in, while Wataru Endo of Stuttgart has returned to training and Takefusa Kubo is a new worry due to muscle soreness. Doan has done enough to replace the injured Kubo, but Mitoma's efforts may not be enough to beat Daichi Kamada. Japan's potential starting lineup is as follows: Gonda; Tomiyasu, Taniguchi, Yoshida; Ito; Morita, Tanaka, Nagatomo; Doan, Maeda, Kamada.
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic is unclear whether left-back Borna Sosa will be ready due to a fever, while fellow defender Josip Stanisic is expected to sit out due to a muscle ailment. Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren will miss any potential quarter-final if they are booked here. Dalic is expected to stay with his tried-and-tested 4-3-3 formation, although there may be room for a tweak or two in the final third. Andrej Kramaric and Marko Livaja both struggled in the goalless draw with Belgium, but Dalic has plenty of alternatives in attack, with Bruno Petkovic, Mislav Orsic, Nikola Vlasic, and Mario Pasalic all competing for starts. Croatia's likely starting lineup is as follows: Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic; Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic.

#3. We say: Japan 1-1 Croatia (Croatia may win on penalties)

Japan vs. Croatia: Prediction, Team News, LineupsSource: Thethao247

With a knack for lightning-quick counter-attacks and a plethora of players in reserve waiting to make a difference, Japan have every reason to believe that another shock is on the way, and developing a consistent offensive formula has not been on Croatia's agenda.
While we anticipate the Samurai Blue to make the net ripple, attempting to score more than once may prove futile against a tenacious Dalic-led defense, and we wouldn't be shocked if this one is decided from 12 yards as Croatia denies Japan its first-ever quarter-final trip.
Please click here for data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scorelines, and more for this match.
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