The Blue Samurai have unveiled a 23-man squad against Guatemala and Ghana in the Kirin Challenge Cup which includes Manchester United’s Shinji KagawaJapan coach Alberto Zaccheroni has revealed his squad for the upcoming friendlies against Ghana and Guatemala.
The Central America and West African sides will battle their Asian hosts on September 06 and 10 respectively.
Zaccheroni said the Blue Samurai are poised to prove a point with the two friendly games as he named a 23-man squad on Thursday for the Kirin Challenge Cup .
Ghana named a 26-man roster for the 2014 World Cup qualifying clash against Zambia and the friendly and conspicuous on the list was the return of Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng of AC Milan.
“Ghana are in the middle of qualifiers and will be bringing their best team; Guatemala have been eliminated but they'll be looking to prepare for 2018 qualifying so I think they'll bring a good team,” JFA technical director Hiromi Hara said at the press conference.
“These matches are important for our growth as a team. When we were playing in the WCQ we were looking for both results and that growth at the same time. But the qualifications are over so now we can focus more on improving the team. I expect I'll have a lot of choices to make, and will be able to see new potential additions to the team. I hope that these two matches will let us show how we've grown as a team and allow us to continue to improve. We'll be playing two different kinds of teams; one from Central America and one from Africa,” Zaccheroni added.
Goalkeepers: Shusaku Nishikawa (Hiroshima), Eiji Kawashima (Standard de Liege), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)
Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover)
Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Toshihiro Aoyama (Hiroshima), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg)
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F. Marinos), Masato Kudo (Kashiwa Reysol), Yuya Osako (Kashima Antlers)