Our prediction for this match:
Japan and Uruguay face each other at New National Stadium (Tokyo) in a highly-anticipated international friendly. The Samurai Blue were producing fine displays at the 2022 World Cup finals, with the team beating both Germany and Spain in the group stages, but they were more than unfortunate not to eliminate Croatia in the last 16. Experienced trio Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo, and Hiroki Sakai has been omitted, as well as Takumi Minamino, while both Kaoru Mitoma and Ritsu Doan made the cut.
La Celeste, on the other hand, failed to book their place in the World Cup knockout stages, but their displays in Group H were anything but poor. Interim manager Marcelo Broli has left experienced attacking duo Luis Suarez – Edinson Cavani out of the squad, with defenders Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez missing out as well. Since the South American outfit are likely to struggle up front in Friday’s friendly, we are tempted to put our money on under 2.5 goals.
Highlighted Player (Sebastian Coates):
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 7, 1990, Sebastian Coates is a 196-cm-tall defender who plays for Sporting CP in Primeira Liga. Coates is the product of the hometown club Nacional, and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 60 appearances for the capital club in the national championship.
After ending his spell with English club Sunderland, the Uruguay international moved to Portugal, signing a loan deal with Sporting CP in January 2016. He signed a permanent contract with the Lions in February 2017.
Speaking of his international career, Sebastian Coastes made his full Uruguay debut against Chile at the 2011 Copa America. La Celeste won the trophy, with the team beating Paraguay 3-0 in the final of the competition at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires. Coates wears the number 4 shirt at Sporting CP, and his preferred foot is right.
Highlighted Team (Japan):
Japan national team have been making progress year by year. The Samurai Blue are regarded as one of the best Asian teams and they have established themselves as the regular participants of the FIFA World Cup finals. Japan qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France for the first time in the national team’s history, but they have been taking part at the showpiece tournament ever since.
The Samurai Blue then co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with South Korea and they did well to make it to the last 16 of the major tournament. The Japanese national team repeated the success eight years later in South Africa, where they were beaten by Paraguay on penalties in the last 16.
It has to be noted that Japan are the only Asian team that participated in the Copa America, with the team taking part in the 2009 and the 2011 tournament. The Samurai Blue wear blue shirts and blue shorts when playing at home, whereas their away kits are grey-white.