Preview: Japan v Senegal

Japan and Senegal will both be looking for their second win of the 2018 World Cup when they come face-to-face at the Ekaterinburg Arena on Sunday.

2018 FIFA World Cup
24 June 2018
Group H
Kick-off: 17:00 (GMT+2)
Venue: Ekaterinburg Arena

Players to watch:

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Makoto Hasebe will continue to be the driving force for the Japanese side, while Yuya Osako will be eager to add to the goal he scored in his side’s first game. Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki, who came on as a substitute against Colombia, will also be eager to make his mark at the global showpiece.

Senegal captain Sadio Mane is undoubtedly the Lions of Teranga’s most lethal player and will surely dictate play for his side once again, although it was Mbaye Niang who scored last time out. There is talent throughout Aliou Cisse’s team though in the form of Idrissa Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyate.

Team form and manager quotes:

Japan beat Colombia 2-1 in their World Cup opener but were fortunate to be a man up after just three minutes and took advantage of the extra player to secure three points.

Senegal were full value for their 2-1 win over Poland in their opener. They had pressured their European opponents to score an own-goal before Niang’s strike.

Cisse said: “Senegal won (against Poland) due to discipline. You saw a Senegal team very solid, very compact.”

Japan coach Akira Nishino added: “I always tell my players it’s the second match that is the deciding match. That is my thinking and that is what I tell my players. Even if it is slightly risky, I want them attacking.”

Teams news:

Japan will hand a late fitness test to Keisuke Honda after he bruised a thigh, while Okazaki has overcome a calf problem.

Senegal are fully fit to face Japan, leaving Coach Aliou Cisse needing to decide on whether to stick with Mame Diouf up front or give one of Moussa Konate or Moussa Sow a start.