Without seven of his first team regulars, Japan manager Zico on Tuesday named an experimental 18-man squad for next week’s friendly against archrival South Korea.
All seven of Japan’s European-based players that started against Uruguay last month are unable to make the trip for the April 16 game at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Still looking for his first win in charge since taking over from Philippe Troussier last summer, the Brazilian faces a difficult task in his first away game against the South Koreans, who upset all the odds to reach the World Cup semifinals last year.
Veteran Masashi Nakayama and Teruaki Kurobe — if he can shake off a knee injury — are likely to get the nod up front, although Tatsuhiko Kubo and Yoshiteru Yamashita have won recalls.
Yokohama’s Kubo is back in the international setup for the first time since losing his place before the World Cup and Vegalta Sendai striker Yoshiteru Yamashita won the last of his two caps almost two years ago.
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