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Who will surprise, disappoint in Premier League?

Premier League
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Japan leave Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki out of Asian Cup squad

Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki will not participate in the 2019 Asian Cup.

Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa were both omitted from Japan's 23-man squad for the 2019 Asian Cup on Wednesday, but Southampton centre back Maya Yoshida was included in the list.

Okazaki, 32, is Japan's third-highest scorer but has failed to find the net for either club or country in a year, while Kagawa, 29, is on the fringes at Dortmund, making just four appearances for the club this season.

Head coach Hajime Moriyasu has recalled...

 By John Duerden

Shinji Okazaki and Shinji Kagawa must make peace with Japan coach Vahid

The ESPN FC crew feel Group H is the most unpredictable with Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan making up the group.

It was striking in November's friendlies against Brazil and Belgium that coach Vahid Halilhodzic decided to drop Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda from the Japan squad.

But in a World Cup year, Japanese fans will be hoping that the superstar trio returns for the next international action in March, just three months before their opening Group H match in Russia.

Here are five Japan football wishes for 2018.

1. Make peace with the big three

Halilhodzic chose to go into November internationals...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez turn back the clock to shock Tottenham

LEICESTER, England -- Three thoughts from the King Power Stadium on Leicester City's 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

1. Leicester hold off Tottenham

Tottenham threw the kitchen sink at it, but could not find a way back. They had given themselves too much to do, having been undone by spectacular goals by two players that beat them to the 2015-16 title: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.

Vardy's brilliantly improvised volley from Marc Albrighton's chipped cross from the left flank...

 By John Duerden

Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki dropped by Japan

Japan qualified for their sixth straight World Cup following their 2-0 win over Australia.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic has told his biggest stars that reputations count for nothing as competition for places in Japan's 2018 World Cup squad heats up.

Halilhodzic has named his 25-man squad for high-profile World Cup friendlies Brazil and Belgium later this month.

There was no place for Leicester City's Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Keisuke Honda, formerly of AC Milan, who now plays for Pachuca in Mexico.

"The names are not relevant when it comes to playing for Japan,"...

Coutinho announces his return in style, as Liverpool win wild one at Leicester

LEICESTER, England -- Three thoughts on Liverpool's 3-2 win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League.

1. A hard-fought win for Liverpool

Liverpool lack consistency, are defensively suspect and waste too many opportunities to turn their possession into goals, but they certainly give the spectator value for money. An extraordinary evening in Leicester brought scores of chances, five goals, a penalty save and a tense finish. More importantly for Jurgen Klopp, it brought three...

 By Michael Cox

No. 10s come in all shapes, sizes and styles in Premier League

ESPN spent a day behind the scenes at Everton to find out why they are the "people's club."

Just in case you'd managed to forget about him, former Tottenham and Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood emerged from the shadows this week to provide his views on youth football in a television debate show. One of his complaints, among many others, was that too many youth footballers in England consider themselves No. 10s.

This was a particularly peculiar complaint considering one of English football's failings over the past few decades is the inability to produce talented, creative, gifted No. 10s...