Japan stick with old guard for World Cup warmup v Ghana
By Jack Tarrant
TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - New Japan head coach Akira Nishino has named a 27-man squad filled with ageing stalwarts for the upcoming World Cup warmup against Ghana on Friday.
Galatasaray defender Yuto Nagamoto, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and veteran Keisuke Honda are all included in a vastly experienced squad with an average age of 28 and no uncapped players.
The May 30 match will be Nishino’s first in charge of the Blue Samurai and his only chance to test the players before naming his final squad for Russia 2018 World Cup.
The coach took over in mid-April following Vahid Halilhodzic’s surprise dismissal.
Two of Japan’s most famous exports, Kagawa and Honda have been named despite lingering doubts over their form and fitness.
The pair are among seven players in the squad with over 80 international caps.
Nishino will trim four players after Ghana to meet FIFA's June 4 deadline for the final 23-man squads. (Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Ian Ransom)