Aguirre to use Brazil friendly as Asian Cup test

Japan coach Javier Aguirre is planning on giving his fringe players a run-out against Brazil as he looks to assess them in the run up to the Asian Cup.

The Samurai Blue are defending champions in the quadrennial competition, and the next edition kicks off in just less than four months this January.

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A disappointing World Cup campaign has put pressure on the Japanese team back home, where fans are expecting them to put up a successful defence of the cup.

With only two more friendlies scheduled after Tuesday, Aguirre has made no secret that he will make changes to the line-up that defeated Jamaica 1-0 last Friday in a bid to give players a chance to prove they are worthy of selection.

“Compared to the lineup against Jamaica, I will change 6 players,” the Mexican said during a press conference following their training session at the National Stadium on Tuesday evening.

“Currently, I am selecting players for the Asian Cup. The first priority is to find out the best players for the Asian Cup. The players need to show their strengths against Brazil.

“I want to try out the players and test their ability, as well as their physical conditions. I want to take a look at different players.”

However, the former Atletico Madrid and Espanyol coach was adamant that his side are still looking to get a result in what he branded as a ‘tough match against a top class team’.

“I’m grateful to have a match with a top class team and it’s going to be a great experience for us,” Aguirre said.

“I want to show our strength and we can’t wait. Brazil has 3 (consecutive) wins and it’s going to be tough.”

When pressed, Aguirre went on to break down his tactics for tomorrow.

“We will need to have a solid defence. They will hold the ball so we are going to have very slight chances and will spend more time defending,” he said.

“Tomorrow's game is going to be very tough and Brazil have many high quality players.

“We are going to take a 4-3-3 system as usual but we will make it compact. We cannot afford to offer Brazil too much space.

“We will also need to defend well in set-pieces as 3 of Brazil’s last 4 goals came from those situations.

“We are going to play with determination.”

Photo: Weixiang Lim