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Sports News of Monday, 21 May 2018


Ghana friendly will determine final 23-man World Cup squad - Japan coach reveals

Japan head coach Akira Nishino says the upcoming friendly against Ghana will be used to determine which players will make his final 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

The new coach has named veterans Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki in his 27-man squad.

Japan face Ghana in a friendly match in Yokohama on 30 May.

''At first my plan was to start thinking about my best team from this point on,'' said Nishino.

''I wanted to use the Ghana game to test that out. But the season in Europe has just ended and not all of the players are in their best shape, so I want to have a good look at everyone. I don't have a picture of what the Colombia game will be like, but we want to win it, and I will pick the best players to help us do that.''

Japan have been drawn in a group alongside Colombia, Senegal and Poland.

The team will travel to Europe to play friendlies against Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland, on June 8 and Paraguay in Innsbruck, Austria, on June 12 before setting up camp in Russia.