Here’s how Japan and Croatia will line up at Al Janoub Stadium.
Shuichi Gonda; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Maya Yoshida, Shogo Taniguchi; Junya Ito, Wataru Endo, Kaoru Morita, Yuto Nagatomo; Ritsu Doan, Daizen Maeda, Daichi Kamada
Ritsu Doan, who leads Japan with two goals in the tournament, both of them as a substitute, gets a chance to start today. And Takehiro Tomiyasu replaces the suspended Kou Itakura in defense. Keep an eye on the right side, where Doan will be lurking. But also watch Junya Ito right behind him, who may well be the one to provide the incisive pass that sets up a goal.
Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Barisic; Marcelo Brozovic; Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric; Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic
The key to Croatia is the midfield, where the Modric, Kovacic and Brozovic boss the game. They will face a formidable task today against Japan’s speedy attack. Bruno Petkovic replaces Marko Livaja up front for Croatia.
The referee is an American from Major League Soccer: Ismail Elfath.