Japan will try to create history by reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the very first time when they take on Croatia in the last-16 on Monday.
Having been placed in a group with Spain and Germany, it appeared Japan would have their work cut out to reach the knockout stages, but they managed to beat both European giants, while surprisingly losing to Costa Rica in between.
It has been far from simple for Japan to get to this round, and they will be desperate for their fairytale run to continue.
Japan came from behind to beat Spain and book their place in the last-16 of the World Cup
Croatia have not been at their best, but are yet to be beaten at this year’s tournament
Meanwhile, Croatia played out two goalless draws against Morocco and Belgium in their group, either side of a comprehensive victory over Canada.
The 2018 finalists are yet to hit top gear, but they have done enough to move beyond the group stages, and still have a chance of going one step further than four years ago.
Sportsmail tells you everything you need to know about the Japan vs Croatia clash.
When is Japan vs Croatia?
The last-16 clash between Japan and Croatia is on Monday, December 5 with a 6pm kick-off time locally in Qatar.
That is 3pm in the UK, 10am in the US (EST) and 1am Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Date: Monday, December 5
Kick-off times: 6pm Qatar, 3pm UK, 10am United States EST and 1am Australian Eastern Standard Time.
How to watch the match
In the UK, the Japan vs Croatia match will be broadcast live on BBC One. For those looking to stream the match, you will also be able to watch the game on BBC iPlayer or the BBC Sport Website.
In the US, the fixture is going to be shown live on FOX, Universo, fubo TV, DirecTV Stream, Peacock Premium, Vidgo, and Sling Blue.
Australian viewers can tune into the game via SBS, who will be televising every match during the 2022 World Cup. SBS On Demand will also stream the fixture for those on the move.
If you’re unable to watch the game live, you can relive the action via the FIFA YouTube Channel (Worldwide). The official YouTube channel will be posting highlight reels after each game.
UK viewers can stream Monday’s match between Japan and Croatia using the BBC iPlayer
Where is Japan vs Croatia being played?
The last-16 tie will be played at the Al Janoub Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 44,000.
The stadium was opened in 2019, and hosted the AFC Champions League final the following year.
The venue has hosted six group matches at this year’s tournament, with Australia playing all three of their matches there, while Cameroon played two of their games at the Al Janoub Stadium.
Neither Japan or Croatia have played at the Al Janoub Stadium yet.
Ground: Al Janoub Stadium
Location: Al-Wakrah, Qatar
The Al Janoub Stadium will host the last-16 clash between Japan and Croatia
Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu has not been afraid to rotate his squad at the World Cup, and he may feel like he needs to do so again after his players put in a huge shift against Spain on Thursday.
Japan only had 18 per cent of the ball, yet still managed to overcome Spain. Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has been limited to a bit-part role due to a hamstring problem, but could come back in to start this knockout game. Japan also have a suspension to deal with, as Ko Itakura is unavailable after picking up two bookings during the group stages.
Croatia went with the same team in their last two group matches, and manager Zlatko Dalic has only used 12 different starters at this year’s tournament.
The European side’s midfield is widely seen as their strength, and Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic are likely to be trusted to try and steer Croatia into the quarter-finals.
Hajime Moriyasu could look to rely on squad depth after his side’s huge effort against Spain
Ko Itakura (pictured above) is suspended for the last-16 clash after being booked against Spain
Japan squad list:
Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda, Daniel Schmidt, Eiji Kawashima.
Defenders: Miki Yamane, Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Shogo Taniguchi, Ko Itakura, Hiroki Ito, Yuto Nagatomo.
Midfielders: Wataru Endo, Hidemasa Morita, Ao Tanaka, Gaku Shibasaki, Kaoru Mitoma, Daichi Kamada, Ritsu Doan, Junya Ito, Takumi Minamino, Takefusa Kubo, Yuki Soma.
Forwards: Daizen Maeda, Takuma Asano, Shuto Machino, Ayase Ueda.
Croatia squad list:
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livakovic, Ivica Ivusic, Ivo Grbic
Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barisic, Josip Juranovic, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanisic, Martin Erlic, Josip Sutalo
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic, Mario Pasalic, Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakic, Luka Sucic
Forwards: Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Mislav Orsic, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja
Zlatko Dalic has a settled side and is unlikely to make many changes to his starting line-up
Croatia are likely to rely on the brilliance of their midfield, which includes Luka Modric
Japan and Croatia have met three times on the international stage, and they have all been closely-fought contests.
The first time they played each other was in 1997 in the Kirin Japan Cup, with Japan winning a seven-goal thriller 4-3.
Croatia go their revenge the following year at the World Cup, winning 1-0 thanks to a late Davor Suker goal.
The two teams came up against each other again at the World Cup eight years later, playing out a goalless draw in Germany.
Croatia icon Davor Suker scored the winner when Croatia beat Japan at the 1998 World Cup
Japan and Croatia’s results so far
Japan 2-1 Germany
Japan 0-1 Costa Rica
Japan 2-1 Spain
Croatia 0-0 Morocco
Croatia 4-1 Canada
Croatia 0-0 Belgium