Japan have been one of the success stories of the Women’s World Cup and they will be hoping to continue their quest for glory when facing Norway at the Wellington Regional Stadium in the last 16 (09:00).
Futoshi Ikeda’s side have yet to lose Down Under, winning all three of their group games to nil.
Norway were shorter than Japan in the outright market before a ball was kicked this summer, but they only just sneaked into the knockout stages.
Their best performance of the group came in their third and final match, though, and their 6-0 success over the Philippines will have given them a confidence boost.
Hana Takahashi is likely to retain her place at the back after being brought into the side for the 4-0 success over Spain, and she will line up alongside Saki Kumagai and Moeka Minami.
Yui Hasegawa and Mina Tanaka are expected to be recalled after dropping down to the bench against Spain.
Norway’s Roman Haug scored a hat-trick against the Philippines in her first start, while boss Hege Riise is likely to name Ada Hegerberg on the bench as she continues to prove her fitness.
Japan to win and under 3.5 goals @ 6/5
Japan have been one of the better teams Down Under and they made a huge statement last time out, beating Spain 4-0. Their European opponents were one of the favourites for the tournament, but they were outclassed across the 90 minutes.
The Nadeshiko started the group stages with a 5-0 success over Zambia before beating Costa Rica 2-0, and they have grown in confidence with each match.
Norway showed signs of their best against the Philippines, but they produced a dismal display against New Zealand in a 1-0 defeat and failed to score against Switzerland in a 0-0 draw.
Hegerberg’s injury issues have not helped Norway’s cause, but they should have their mojo back after that 6-0 success.
Japan could progress without conceding, but under 3.5 goals gives us added cover, should Norway manage to make a game of it.
Hinata Miyazawa to score anytime @ 23/10
Miyazawa was named player of the match after the 4-0 win over Spain, scoring two goals in the first half to help put Japan in a commanding position.
The 23-year-old has scored four goals and grabbed one assist from her three appearances, and she has been clinical, only having eight shots during that time.
Five of her eight attempts have hit the target, and Norway will struggle to keep someone as proficient as that at bay.