Two of Japan's previous four World Cup wins have come in their only two previous meetings with African sides (2-0 v Tunisia in 2002 and 1-0 v Cameroon in 2010).
Despite going out in the “Group of Death” in their only two previous tournaments, Ivory Coast have the best goals/game average of any African side at World Cups (1.5).
Didier Drogba has only had two shots on target in 384 minutes at the World Cup, with both ending up in the back of the net.
Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in three of Japan's last four World Cup strikes (two goals, one assist).
Shinji Okazaki was the top scorer in the 2014 Asian World Cup qualifiers (8 goals). He is also the last Japanese player to net in the finals (against Denmark on 24 June 2010).
The Elephants were unbeaten in 2014 World Cup qualification, winning five and drawing three.
These sides have met three times before, all in friendlies; Japan won the first two 1-0, before Ivory Coast won 2-0 in the most recent meeting in 2010.
Ivory Coast are appearing in their third successive World Cup; Ghana are the only other current African side who can match this.