Japan line up World Cup warm-up games

Japan has lined up three friendly games in preparation for the World Cup according to the Japanese Football Association.  The opponents have been decided with one eye firmly on mirroring the teams they’ve been paired with in the group stage.

Japan is scheduled to face Mali on March 22nd and then Ukraine four days later. Both matches will take place in Liege, Belgium. Japan’s national coach Vahid Halihodzic will be using the games to assess his squad before the World Cup squad selection deadline by which all competing nations must announce their squad.

Halihodzic said in a statement, “It’s an important opportunity to figure out the team for the tournament.” And also, “I’ll look at everything including the players’ conditions, I want to make sure we’re properly prepared for the World Cup.”

Japan will also play a friendly against Paraguay at an undetermined location on June 12th. Halihodzic and the Japanese Football Association have picked their friendly opposition very well with the intention of replicating their group H opponents playing styles. Replace Ukraine, Mali and Paraguay with Poland, Senegal and Colombia and they should all be similar enough to give Japan an idea of what is needed to get out of the group in Russia.  

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