Kyogo Furuhashi could be set for his big opportunity to impress in a Japan shirt on Tuesday.
The in-form Hoops forward was an unused substitute in his country’s stunning 4-1 win over Germany on Saturday night. Like Celtic team-mate Daizen Maeda, he wasn’t asked to play a single minute by Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu.
However, the pair could be in line for opportunities in Tuesday afternoon’s clash against Turkey after Moriyasu promised alterations.
“I would like to go into the game with a lot of changes in the lineup from the game against Germany,” the manager told Sponichi.
“After looking at today’s training, I will make a final decision. I would like to decide on the members for the next season. I think the game against Turkey is a very important game. We will fight with the aim of winning, and at the same time, we will broaden and deepen our player base.”
So changes are coming for the game in Genk’s Cegeka Arena. Given that Maeda and Furuhashi didn’t feature at all in the Germany win, you would have to assume that they will be given minutes in this one.
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Japan actually lost one of their scorers — Ayase Ueda — to injury after around 60 minutes of the weekend clash. Ueda is one of the players the Celtic pair are battling with for game-time, so his absence should further improve their chances.
What makes the Ueda injury more interesting to Celtic supporters is that the 25-year-old actually plays for our Champions League opponents Feyenoord. Ueda moved to the Eredivisie champions in the summer after a terrific goalscoring season with Cercle Brugge.
He has been a pretty regular fixture for them so far this season and it seems like his injury will keep him out of our clash at De Kuip next week.
While we don’t really tend to wish injury on players, the news may work out in more than one way for Kyogo and Daizen as well as the rest of us.