Kwesi Appiah looking forward to stern Japan test in international friendly

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The Black Stars boss previews Wednesday's exhibition game with the Samurai Blue

Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah is bracing himself up for a difficult challenge when they come up against Japan in an international friendly on Wednesday.

The Black Stars, without several key players, are set to face the Samurai Blue at Kanagawa's Nissan Stadium as part of preparations for the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September. 

The hosts, on the other hand, are stepping up preparations for the summer World Cup in Russia. 

"We are very glad to be given such wonderful opportunity," Appiah said, as reported by JFA

"This will be our first national team match since our match against Egypt last November. 

"It will be a difficult match for us, but we are looking forward to play against Japan."

Ghana will be without skipper Asamoah Gyan and deputy captain Andre Ayew on Wednesday. 

Swansea City striker Jordan Ayew will also miss out, as will Leicester City utility man Daniel Amartey, Newcastle United star Christian Atsu and the USA-based Harrison Afful. 

"We have struggled to call up players consistently, including those who are playing for clubs in Europe," Appiah added. 

"It is also regretful that we could not bring some of our players due to injury as well. 

"Ahead of this international match, some of the players found it difficult to maintain their conditions since their season ended early. 

"Including those who are injured, we must condition ourselves not only through fitness training, but through the football match itself in order to heighten our performance."

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Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah is also absent from Ghana's set-up despite recently indicating his desire to end a self-imposed sabbatical, while Schalke 04 left-back Baba Rahman, who just returned from a one-year injury layoff, has also been excused.

The likes of Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp, Augsburg outcast Daniel Opare, Turkey-based John Boye, Richmond Boakye-Yiadom and Deportivo Alaves midfielder Mubarak Wakaso will also be missing. 

 

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