Japan will clash with Croatia at Al Janoub Stadium in the round of 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup for a place in the quarterfinals. Check out the potential lineups for both teams.
No one could have predicted that it would be a match between Japan and Croatia in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but that’s how it turned out.
Japan was the upset winning group in this tournament. They started with a win over top favorites like Germany to shock the odds. Their loss against Costa Rica was almost as surprising, although they made history right after. The Japanese won their group after a 2-1 win over fellow title contenders Spain.
Instead, many people here assumed that Croatia would be here. It should have been either them or Team Belgium leading Group F, but both were stunned. The Croatians finished second behind Morocco after a 0-0 draw with the Belgians on Matchday 3. At least they can trust their defense as they are unbeaten.
Part of the success this team had in the tournament was how spot on the head coach has been with the substitutions. That also means he has a very complete squad ready to go, which will be needed for this game. The defender Ko Itakura will miss this match after seeing his second yellow card, but Takehiro Tomiyasu should be a reliable replacement for the suspended player.
Japan probable lineup: Shuichi Gonda; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Maya Yoshida, Shogo Taniguchi; Junya Ito, Ao Tanaka, Hidemasa Morita, Yuto Nagatomo; Ritsu Doan, Daizen Maeda, and Daichi Kamada.
For the Croatians finishing second behind Morocco wasn’t that bad given the favorable match they have. When it comes to the team, Zlatko Dalic have also been lucky since he will have every player available to start. Dalic will probably repeat the team that sealed the qualification to this round.
Croatia probable lineup: Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Andrej Kramaric, Marko Livaja, and Ivan Perisic.