Japan possess an experienced group of players, several of whom will be appearing at their third World Cup. Eiji Kawashima, Keisuke Honda, Yuto Nagatomo, Shinji Okazaki and captain Makoto Hasebe…
- Host City: Volgograd
- Surface: Grass
- Capacity: 45,000
- Location: Central Park
- Home Team: FC Rotor
- World Cup games:
18 June 2018 21:00 – Tunisia vs England – Group G
22 June 2018 18:00 – Nigeria vs Iceland – Group D
25 June 2018 17:00 – Saudi Arabia vs Egypt – Group A
28 June 2018 17:00 – Japan vs Poland – Group H
Team Updates and News
While Saudi Arabia are on their third coach in less than a year, the squad is built on a solid core of players. Drawn mainly from Saudi Premier League champions Al Hilal and runners-up Al Ahli, the key players know each other well, and that cohesion is a rare thing at international level.
Essam El Hadary is the Egyptian captain and at 45 years of age is set to become the oldest player to ever grace the World Cup. Egypt have a fairly solid defence with the likes of Ahmed Hegazi and Ali Gabr as their centre back pairing, with Fathi and Abdel-Shafy in the fullback positions.
Following Vincent Enyeama’s departure from international football and Carl Ikeme’s leukemia diagnosis. Nigeria initially opted for, Ikechukwu Ezenwa but appear to have lost faith in him and instead have plumped for 19-year-old Francis Uzoho to start in Nigeria’s recent friendlies.