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?
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.
Japan have scored 15 times in their eight matches, while the Caltex Socceroos have netted 14 goals.
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.
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.
Australia’s best is Tomi Juric with 14.
44% of Japan’s shots have been on target compared to 36% of Australia’s.
Australia are clearly ahead here, having played over 100 more passes per game than Japan (4352 to 3521).
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.
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.
Risdon driven by World Cup ambition amid 'competitive' Caltex Socceroos camp
Caltex Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon is braced for an intense training standard as he seeks to realise his boyhood dream of FIFA World Cup selection. Risdon is in contention to add to his five international caps when Australia take on Norway in Oslo on Saturday morning (AED
Fit and firing Behich sets sights on twin Caltex Socceroos wins
Caltex Socceroos full-back Aziz Behich is taking career-best form into what he hopes will be back-to-back wins at the beginning of Bert van Marwijk's tenure. Australia's 26-man squad have assembled in Oslo ahead of Van Marwijk's first match in charge against Norway on Saturday
Norway v Caltex Socceroos: 4 key match ups
Bert van Marwijk’s first match in charge as Caltex Socceroos boss sees his side take on tricky European outfit Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday, March 24 (AEDT). With a chance for his players to stake a claim for a spot on the plane to Russia in June, it’s an importa
Ultimate Guide: Caltex Socceroos vs Norway and Colombia
Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk has assembled a 26-man squad for this month's twin friendlies that will help determine his FIFA World Cup roster. The players on show against Norway and Colombia have the chance to show the new boss what they can do as they push to squee