Japan are bidding for their first East Asian Cup success when they face South Korea in the final game of the 2013 edition of the tournament.
Both teams are in contention for the title going into the last round of fixtures on Sunday, with China also harbouring hopes of victory as they prepare to take on whipping boys Australia in the day's earlier game.
However, Japan's previous results mean they cannot be caught at the top should they beat the hosts at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul.
The Japanese established their advantage courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Australia on Thursday, which came despite head coach Alberto Zaccheroni changing his entire starting XI.
"I guess in total I've called 70 players in three years, but I still wanted to see these guys," he said after Yuya Osako's 79th-minute winner helped his side to victory.
"It's clear that within the team now, there are some problems, but that's normal. I could have, for example, called Yasuhito Endo and Yasuyuki Konno, but my objective was to see new players.
"Honestly, until they ran out of energy, everybody did really well today."
The Italian could ring the changes yet again for the decisive encounter with Hong Myung-Bo's men, who have won the East Asian Cup on two previous occasions.
Japan will go into the contest with added confidence, though, having inflicted a 3-0 defeat upon South Korea in the teams' last meeting in August 2011.
On that occasion, a double from Shinji Kagawa - who is absent due to his participation in Manchester United's pre-season campaign - and a Keisuke Honda goal proved the difference.
|Coach: Myung-Bo Hong|
for Dong-Sub Kim 71'
for Seung-Ki Lee 80'
for Yo-Han Ko 89'
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