Defensive duo Maya Yoshida and Jan Bednarek are set to face-off on opposite sides this afternoon as Japan and Poland conclude their respective World Cup Group H campaigns.
Victory over Colombia and a thrilling 2-2 draw with Senegal ensured that the Samurai Blue begin the day occupying top spot, but qualification to the knockout stages remains far from guaranteed.
Akira Nishino’s side – and indeed their supporters – have earned plenty of friends in Russia for their energetic style and respect in the stands, with Saints’ Yoshida a key part in their eye-catching journey so far.
They require just a point to set up a potential last 16 clash with England, while rivals Colombia will advance with a victory over rivals Senegal, who currently have a share of the lead in Group H.
Bednarek’s Poland, however, will be playing for pride in Volgograd after losing both of their fixtures in Russia so far without scoring a goal.