J.Leaguers prepare for Kirin Cup battle

J.Leaguers prepare for Kirin Cup battle

The J.League’s national team call-ups continued training this week for the upcoming Kirin Cup 2016 tournament, which will be contested by Japan, Bulgaria, Denmark and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The two-day competition in Toyota and Osaka will be the first time the Samurai Blue have faced European opposition since the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when they drew 0-0 with Greece under Alberto Zaccheroni.

“They may not have superstars but we can’t be unprepared,” Gamba Osaka striker Takashi Usami said on Wednesday. “If we play as we usually do, these are opponents we should be able to beat.

“This is a chance for us to reaffirm what we accomplished in [World Cup] qualifying. The level of opposition will be a bit higher, and it’s a chance to see if we can reach that level of play against better teams.”

Japan will face Bulgaria on Friday night at Toyota Stadium before taking on either Denmark or Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday at Suita Stadium.