Denmark took a calculated gamble on the fitness of strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Jon Dahl Tomasson for their must-win clash with Japan here on Thursday.
Both forwards have been troubled by niggling injuries with Bendtner only able to train on alternate days because of a groin injury and skipper Tomasson hampered by a hamstring problem.
But coach Morten Olsen had little option but to pitch them both into battle for the final Group E match in a line-up featuring two changes from the one that started the 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands.
As expected Per Kroldrup, the Fiorentina defender, replaces the suspended Simon Kjaer in central defence.
Former Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer dropped to the bench with Thomas Kahlenberg coming in on the left of Denmark's three-man midfield.
Japan were unchanged from the side that beat Cameroon 1-0 in their last outing, the country's first World Cup win on foreign soil.
That win left the Japanese needing a point to reach the last 16.
Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Yuichi Komano, Yuji Nakazawa, Marcus Tulio Tanaka, Yuto Nagatomo; Yuki Abe; Yasuhito Endo, Daisuke Matsui; Makoto Hasebe (capt), Keisuke Honda, Yoshito Okubo
Coach: Takeshi Okada
Denmark: Thomas Sorensen; Lars Jacobsen, Daniel Agger, Per Kroldrup, Simon Poulsen; Martin Jorgensen, Christian Poulsen, Thomas Kahlenberg; Dennis Rommedahl, Nicklas Bendtner, Jon Dahl Tomasson (capt.)
Coach: Morten Olsen
Referee: Jerome Damon (RSA)