Ko Itakura in World Cup qualifying action with Japan
Defender Ko Itakura and Japan have two crucial fixtures coming up as they look to secure one of 32 spots at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. No other Royal Blues are in action as there will be no European games over this international break.
On Thursday (27.01. – 11:00 CET), Japan take on China before facing Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, 01.02. (11:10 CET). Both matches will be played in Saitama.
Japan currently sit second in AFC World Cup qualification Group B with 12 points from six games. Saudi Arabia lead with 16 points, and behind Japan are Australia (11), Oman (7), China (5) and Vietnam (0).
The top two teams from Groups A and B will qualify directly for the finals in Qatar. The two third-placed sides after 10 matches will play each other and the winner will take part in an intercontinental playoff tie.
World Cup Qualification
Japan – China, 27.01., 11:00 CET, Saitama
Japan – Saudi Arabia, 01.02., 11:10 CET, Saitama