Belgium will start as the big favourites against surprising Japan, after winning their 3 group games against Panama, Tunisia and England. At the same time, the Red Devils scored 9 times so far at this World Cup. Their offensive skills seem impressive, with Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens in attack.
Belgium may lack some support from the stands in Rostov, as only a few hundred Belgians are expected to attend the game. There were even free seats left on the special fanflight this afternoon. It is not sure whether the game, the final one in Rostiv, will be a sell-out.
Belgium hardly have injury woes at present, with their key players enjoying a rest in the previous game against England. It is still not clear who will play in defence: will skipper Vincent Kompany return full-force to stop the agile Japanese, and will Thomas Vermaelen make a start?