December 05, 2022 12:06 AM
Trystan Pugh

Japan vs Croatia – Round of 16 – Preview & Prediction | 2022 FIFA World Cup

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When is Japan vs Croatia on and what time does it start? Japan vs Croatia will take place on Monday 5th December, 2022 – 15:00 (UK)

Where is Japan vs Croatia taking place? Japan vs Croatia will take place at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar

Where can I get tickets for Japan vs Croatia? Visit this link for the latest ticket information for Japan vs Croatia

What channel is Japan vs Croatia on in the UK? Japan vs Croatia will be televised live on BBC / Japan vs Croatia will be televised live on ITV

Where can I stream Japan vs Croatia in the UK? Japan vs Croatia can be streamed live on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website & app / Japan vs Croatia can be streamed live on the ITV Hub



  • Japan secured a second shock triumph of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they bounced back from their disappointing loss to Costa Rica by getting the better of Spain and finishing top of Group E in the process.
  • After also accounting for Germany during the group stage, the Japanese will hold no fear for the remainder of the tournament but they will have to cope with the loss of centre-back Kou Itakura who has picked up a suspension for this clash.


  • Croatia were given a late scare as Belgium missed a superb chance to win their clash in a result that would have knocked them out of the tournament but they were able to hang on for the point which saw them advance.
  • They will need to be better if they are to advance to the latter stages but there is plenty of room for improvement, although they may well be forced into a change here with left-back Borna Sosa struggling with an injury.



PREDICTED XI (3-4-3): Gonda; Tomiyasu, Taniguchi, Yoshida; Ito, Tanaka, Morita, Nagamoto; Doan, Maeda, Kamada

UNAVAILABLE: Kou Itakura (Suspended)

QUESTIONABLE: Hiroki Sakai (Injured), Takefusa Kubo (Injured)


PREDICTED XI (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic

UNAVAILABLE: Josip Stanisic (Injured)

QUESTIONABLE: Borna Sosa (Injured)


• Japan are through to the round of 16 for the fourth time in the last six World Cups

• Japan are through to the round of 16 at successive World Cups for the first time

• Japan are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time, having exited three times in the round of 16. In 2002 they lost 1-0 against Türkiye, they then lost on penalties against Paraguay in 2010 following a 0-0 draw and finally four years ago they lost 3-2 against Belgium despite having led 2-0

• Japan won their group for the second time. They also finished top of their group in 2002 with seven points

• Japan have lost only two of their last six World Cup matches against European nations (W3 D1). They have won both of their previous two matches against European nations at Qatar 2022

• Japan have only ever come from behind to win in two FIFA World Cup matches and both came in the group stage at Qatar 2022 against Germany and Spain

• Japan have not kept a clean sheet in their last eight World Cup matches

• Japan have scored two or more goals in five of their last seven World Cup matches

• Croatia have reached the knockout stage for the third time in their history – their second-place finish in 2018 and third-place finish in 1998 are the only two previous occasions in which they have reached the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup

• Croatia have now reached the knockout stage for successive World Cup final competitions for the first time and have gone unbeaten in the group stage for a second consecutive World Cup

• Croatia have been successful in both of their previous two World Cup round of 16 ties. They won 1-0 against Romania in 1998 and four years ago at Russia 2018 they edged out Denmark on penalties following a 1-1 draw

• Croatia have lost only one of their last ten FIFA World Cup matches (W5 D4)

• Croatia have lost only one of their last 19 international matches (W12 D6)

• Japan are the only AFC nation that Croatia have previously faced in the World Cup and this is their third meeting at the finals. Croatia claimed a 1-0 victory in the group stage in 1998 and their other encounter in the 2006 group stage finished goalless

• This is the first time that Croatia will face a non-European nation in a World Cup knockout stage match. All of their previous eight matches were against European teams

• Croatia have not failed to score in their previous eight matches in the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup

• Three of Croatia’s matches in the knockout stage at Russia 2018 went into extra time (round of 16 v Denmark, quarter-finals v Russia and semi-finals v England) and two of those matches required penalty shoot-outs (round of 16 and quarter-finals)


This is an extremely tough game to call with both Japan and Croatia fancying their chances of booking a spot in the quarter-finals. Each side have shown some bright spots in the tournament so far but the Croatians will feel they are the ones to beat having avoided defeat in their last nine games in all competitions. However, having beaten both Germany and Spain in the group stage, Japan will believe they can take on the world. This should be an entertaining contest but it could be tough to separate the pair so it is worth backing a draw here with this game potentially the first to need extra-time to determine a winner.


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