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Japan vs Croatia: TV channel, kick-off time, stream FREE, team news, prediction

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JAPAN have been one of the most exciting sides at the World Cup and they are in action TODAY as they face Croatia in the last-16.

The Asian giants found themselves in a tough group with Germany and Spain, but they immediately stunned the world by beating the Germans 2-1 on their opening day.

Japan's team that beat Spain

However, Japan were quickly brought back to reality by Costa Rica four days later courtesy of a late Keysher Fuller strike.

But with the help of a very controversial VAR call, the Japanese stars managed to slay the Spaniards which ultimately helped them secure a last-16 place.

And now, Hajime Moriyasu’s men come up against a Croatian side who were forced to fend off Belgium’s golden generation to get here – with both sides looking to qualify for the quarter-finals.

How did they get here?

Japan have gripped the hearts of the world, becoming the ultimate giant killers of the tournament.

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2-1 wins over both Germany and Spain earned them the six points they needed to top the group, losing out on a clean sweep after a 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica.

Croatia’s competition has lacked the excitement of their 2018 final reaching run, with 0-0 draws to both Morocco and Belgium.

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A strong 4-1 win against Canada in gameday two however gave the Croats the crucial three points needed in order to finish the group in second.

Team news

Japanese defender Ko Itakura will be out through suspension after picking up yellow cards in their games against Costa Rica and Spain.

Moriyasu will have have a full squad to choose from otherwise, most likely resuming to the 4-2-3-1 formation after changing to a 3-4-3 against Spain.

The Croatia side are all fully fit and without suspension giving Zlatko Dalic a free range of selection.

Despite this, it is expected that the Vatreni will name an unchanged line-up as they have in their previous two games.

Croatia's team that faced Belgium in their last game

Who will be the star men?

Winger Ritsu Doan has netted in the games against both Germany and Spain, proving to be a real threat in the tournament.

Daichi Kamada also impressed in the win against Spain, as the Eintracht Frankfurt winger was the creative outlet for the Japanese.

Luka Modric has been Croatia’s go to man for the last few years with the 2018 Ballon D’or winner controlling the midfield three alongside Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.

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20-year-old defender Josko Gvardiol has also staked his claim as Croatia’s best defender, with the RB Leipzig player being the star men in the defence which has only conceded one goal as far.

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What’s the head to head?

The two sides have only met three times in their history with one win piece.

The last time they met ended in a stalemate as their 2006 World Cup group stage game ended in a goalless draw.

SunSport Prediction

Japan 1 Croatia 1 – Japan win on penalties

When is Japan vs Croatia?

  • Japan’s huge World Cup match against Croatia will take place on Monday, December 5.
  • It is scheduled to get underway from 3pm UK time.
  • Al Janoub Stadium is the designated venue for this clash and it can host approximately 44,325 supporters.
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What TV channel is it on and can it be live streamed?

  • Japan vs Croatia will be shown live BBC One in the UK.
  • Coverage is set to commence from 2:30pm UK time – 30 minutes before kick-off.
  • Viewers also have the option to stream the game live via the BBC iPlayer app or through the BBC Sport website.

Can I watch it for free?

YES! Fans in the UK can watch Japan’s mouth-watering match against Croatia for FREE as long as you have a valid TV license.

What are the odds?

After 90 mins:

  • Japan 29/10
  • Draw 11/5
  • Croatia 11/10

To qualify:

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Odds courtesy of Betfair are correct at time of publication

Source: The Sun

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