Our prediction for this match:
All eyes will be on Nissan Stadium in Yokohama when Korea Republic and Japan face each other in a friendly. The Koreans did well to beat Qatar in their last warm-up game, but Japan will pose a much bigger threat for Paulo Bento’s troops. Since key attacker Son is sidelined with a muscle injury, we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on South Korea.
The Samurai Blue, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 2-0 loss to Mexico, and they should take advantage of Son’s absence. A man to keep an eye on in the Japanese national team will be Liverpool attacker Minamino, who is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. Partizan attacker Takuma Asano returns to the squad, with Maya Yoshida, and Wataru Endo receiving a call-up as well.
Highlighted Player (Heung-min Son):
Over the years Son Heung-Min has established himself as one of the best Asian footballers. Son is a Tottenham Hotspur first-team regular and he played a very important role in Mauro Pochettino’s team in the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign, scoring 12 goals, while making 37 appearances in the process.
The South Korean footballer, who is well known for his speed and a very powerful shot, was born in Chuncheo on 8 July 1992 and he began his youth career at FC Seoul. In 2008 he moved to Hamburger SV, but he made his senior debut for the Bundesliga club two years later. In 2013 he signed a deal with fellow German side Bayer Leverkusen and he scored 21 goals in 62 appearances in the Bundesliga for the BayArena outfit.
In 2015 he signed a five-year contract with Spurs for a fee of £22 million. Son Heung-min made his South Korea debut in a friendly against Syria in 2010.
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.