Japan v Caltex Socceroos: stats preview

The Caltex Socceroos and Japan go head-to-head in Saitama tonight, both knowing a win will secure them automatic World Cup qualification. But who are the pass masters? And how do the compare on defensive stats?

PHOTOS: Caltex Socceroos' final session before Japan

WATCH: Japan v Socceroos: five things to know

How do the two teams compare in some key game metrics during their eight Group B matches so far?

Here are the vital Opta stats you need to know ahead of the blockbuster. 

GOALS

Japan have scored 15 times in their eight matches, while the Caltex Socceroos have netted 14 goals.

Japanese players celebrate a goal in their 1-1 draw with the Caltex Socceroos in October, 2016.

Japan have scored first in every single one of their eight matches, while Australia have opened the scoring on six of eight occasions.

Genki Haraguchi and Tomi Juric are their side’s respective top-scorers with four apiece.

Australia have been awarded three penalties to Japan’s one, all of which have been converted.

SHOTS

The Blue Samurai have fired off 114 shots, compared to Australia’s 105.

Keisuke Honda has taken 20 shots for Japan with Genki Haraguchi shooting 16 times.

Keisuke Honda

Australia’s best is Tomi Juric with 14.

44% of Japan’s shots have been on target compared to 36% of Australia’s.

PASSING

Australia are clearly ahead here, having played over 100 more passes per game than Japan (4352 to 3521).

Tom Rogic fights for the ball with German captain Julian Draxler.

The Caltex Socceroos also pass with greater accuracy, with 83% of their passes finding their mark, compared to 78% for Japan.

Aaron Mooy has played 524 passes, while Japan’s best is Maya Yoshida with 425.

Mooy has also had significantly more touches than any player from either side with 697; the next best is Trent Sainsbury with 566.

Incidentally, Yoshida is the only player from either nation to play every minute of his side’s eight games to date.

DEFENCE

Japan have conceded six goals and Australia eight.

Both sides have kept three clean sheets in their eight matches.

Mat Ryan has made 17 saves with Japanese custodian Shusaku Nishikawa pulling off 11 stops.

Australia have won far more tackles with 106 to Japan’s 79.

Milos Degenek leads all players in this stat with 18 successful tackles.

FOULS AND DISCIPLINE

Australia have committed 128 fouls compared to Japan’s 110.

Mile Jedinak has been the most whistled, the Australian with 17 fouls conceded, while for Japan, Genki Haraguchi has committed 12 fouls.

Australia have been awarded 98 free kicks to Japan’s 94.

Ironically, Haraguchi is also the most fouled Japanese player with 14, while Mathew Leckie has been fouled 13 times.

Australian players have received 11 yellow cards and Japan’s players have been booked eight times, with Hiroki Sakai earning three of those.