Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Monday, May 26, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group C - Japan

Nickname: "

サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)"

FIFA ranking: 41st

Coach: Italian Serie A veteran Alberto Zaccheroni

Game Schedule:
June 14 – Japan vs. Ivory Coast (Recife, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN)
June 19 – Japan vs. Greece (Natal, 6:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 24 – Japan vs. Colombia (Culaba, 4:00 p.m., ESPN)

Prospects: Japan continue to toil in the shadow of their more successful neighbors South Korea, all while being unreasonably optimistic about their hopes in international tournaments, based on easy qualification in the Asian confederation. Back on earth, however, Japan will struggle mightily to get out of even the easiest of groups in this summer's tournament. As always they have midfielders such as Yasuhito Endo who will run all day long; their fatal weakness, however, is that their strikers act as if scoring goals brings shame upon their opponents' families.

Key Player: Milan's Keisuke Honda is the only current Japanese player who approaches international quality. He's got a range of passing as well as much needed guile.

Youngster to watch: I'd like to have a look at 23 year old attacking midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi. He's still toiling away in Japan but may get a big money move to Europe if he shines in Brazil.

Who Will Get the Goals: J League 32 year old striker Ryoichi Maeda is a relatively recent recruit to Zaccheroni's set up but has rewarded him with 10 goals.

Who Will Get the Cards: Stuttgart right back Atsudo Uchida has learned all of the wrong lessons during his time in the Bundesliga.

Prediction: Unless their Group C opponents come up with a bad case of the stomach flu, Japan will finish bottom of the group.

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