Japan coach Akira Nishino has hinted his side will play a new formation against Ghana in Wednesday's international friendly encounter at the Nissan Stadium.
The Blue Samurai will square off against the Black Stars as part of their preparations for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup with the African powerhouse also preparing for the 2019 AFCON qualifier in September
And Nishino says he will to try out a three-man defense in an attempt to increase the team’s options for the World Cup - claiming that a four-man defense has “become ingrained in the players — for better or for worse.”
However, Maya Yoshida, who plays for English Premier League side Southampton, says their mentality won't change though they had some difficulty in adapting to the formation in training.
“We won’t know what it’s like unless we try it,” said defender Maya Yoshida. “It’s a different position to what I’m used to playing. We’ve had some good practices but a game is different, so tomorrow will be an important chance to try it out for real.
“Just because the manager has changed, that doesn’t mean that everything changes with it. We will continue doing the things we do well. Whether that was under Halilhodzic or (former manager Javier) Aguirre or (Alberto) Zaccheroni, the Japan national team has grown through all the things we have learned from them. We’re looking forward with optimism.”
Japan will warm up for the World Cup by playing Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland, on June 8 and Paraguay in Innsbruck, Austria, on June 12. Nishino’s team opens its World Cup campaign against Colombia in Saransk on June 19 before taking on Senegal in Yekaterinburg on June 24 and Poland in Volgograd on June 28.
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