If Belgium lose on Monday, it will be their first defeat in a competitive match since their shock 3-1 defeat to Wales in the quarter-final of the 2016 European Championship.
Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez left most of his first-choice footballers on the bench for the England match so they could rest and avoid suspensions for the Round-of-16 match.
Roberto Martinez brings back nearly all of his regular starters back. So a fresh Red Devils side are expected to attack from the word go against the Japanese.
Japan's team players attend an official training of Japan on the eve of the round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018. "What is important is to progress and to reach the quarter-finals. His stats speak for themselves".
But a side who scraped through the group phase only by virtue of receiving fewer yellow cards than Senegal were finally undone in the final quarter of the game. Even their goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima now plays for Metz in France, and had previously featured for Lierse SK and Standard de Liege in the Belgian top-flight league.
Many people think this round of sixteen tie between Japan and Belgium is going to be the most one sided knockout tie of this World Cup and the Asian team will be out to prove many a doubter wrong.
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Nishino risked his side exiting the competition by making a remarkable six changes from his line-up from the 2-2 draw with Senegal for their final Group H match against Poland which they lost 1-0, sneaking through due only to their superior disciplinary record over Senegal. "Belgium may feel that they are just starting the tournament". Takashi Inui got the game's second. The Japanese will target attacking through the wings where Gaku Shibasaki will play a vital role. We did that. I'm very proud of the players.
"It's not just Lukaku in the Belgium team", he said.
"We can't prepare for that [the penalty shootout], as mental approach means much..."
"This is a group of players that know what they are doing".
However, it would arguably be the biggest shock of the tournament so far - even more astonishing than Germany's elimination - if the Japanese eliminated the side now ranked third in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association. On that occasion, a lone Lukaku strike took Belgium home. Now, the time is to brush aside this Japan team.
Keisuke Honda's 30-metre free-kick was parried away by Courtois in stoppage time before the keeper launched the ball to Kevin De Bruyne to make a beeline upfield before finding Meunier, whose cross was met by Chadli for the victor.