Japan’s stunning victories over Germany and Spain have blown this side of the draw wide open after they topped Group E. Croatia advanced as runners-up of Group F, ahead of Belgium but behind Morocco.
Luka Modric’s side were finalists four years ago and showed all of their experience to grind out a 0-0 draw against Belgium that secured their progress, with centre-back Josko Gvardiol outstanding in defence.
Japan meanwhile repeated their trick of coming back after half-time as they scored two quickfire goals to stun Spain and finish as Group E winners. Japan have never reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup and a victory would see them confirmed as the breakout stars of the tournament. Here’s everything you need to know.
When is Japan vs Croatia?
The match will kick off at 3pm GMT on Monday 5 December. It will be played at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar.
What TV channel is it on and how can I watch online?
It will be shown live on BBC One, with coverage starting at 2:30pm, as well as on the BBC iPlayer.
Japan XI: Gonda; Taniguchi, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Morita, Endo; Ito, Kamada, Doan; Maeda
Croatia XI: Livakovic; Juranovic, Gvardiol, Lovren, Barisic; Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric; Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic
Japan to go through: 8/5
Croatia to go through: 3/5
Japan have been the fairytale story of the World Cup so far but against Croatia they will face a team who are gnarly and experienced enough to cut those dreams short. Zlatko Dalic’s side have an impressive record of delivering on the big stage and Luka Modric can steer them to another milestone victory here, with Brazil or South Korea waiting in the quarter-finals. Japan 1-2 Croatia