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The fifth match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Round of 16 will be played between Japan and Croatia. In a group that included Spain, Japan emerged as the topper - overwhelming two of the biggest teams in the tournament, Germany and Spain. Croatia had goalless draws against Belgium and Morocco, which eventually helped them a lot when they defeated Canada 4-1.

Overview

Japan is having a dream run at the FIFA 2022 so far. The giant-killers defeated Germany, which eventually threw the four-time world champions out of the world cup. The Samurai Blue also defeated Spain, pushing them to the second spot in the group. Croatia, on the other hand, have been undefeated since the tournament began.

Teams

Japan

Japan won the group of death despite never having defeated a World Cup champion before. This time, they defeated two world champions in a span of three days. So, in their most successful world cup campaign in history, Japan won't be lacking in confidence. Japan’s outstanding defensive effort was instrumental in defeating Spain, and similar strategies may be employed against Croatia as well. In that game, they were able to take advantage of the limited opportunities they created, but this one could require extra time and even penalties.

Croatia

Interestingly, defensive strategies have worked for Zlatko Dalić’s team as well. The draw after 90 minutes feels like decent value because Croatia would probably be content to keep Japan struggling to score in this match. The 2018 runners-up have gone unbeaten in their last nine games, winning six times and drawing three times. The last time they lost a match was in June, when Austria defeated them 3-0.

Head-to-Head

The head-to-head history between these two teams is quite interesting. Both Japan and Croatia have won one while one match ended in a draw.

Key Players

Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic remain key players for Croatia. Japan's winger Ritsu Doan could get the chance as Ko Itakura will be suspended from the game for receiving a second yellow card.

Date, Time & Venue

The Japan vs Croatia match will be played on December 5 at 08:30 PM (Indian time) in the Al Janoub Stadium, Al-Wakrah.

Live-streaming Details

The Japan vs Croatia match will be broadcast live on the Sports18 and Sports18 HD TV channels in India and Jio Cinema's app and website will both offer free live streaming of the event.

Prediction

Japan’s dream run at the FIFA World Cup 2022 will continue as they will move to the quarter-finals by defeating Croatia 2-0.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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