October 16, 2012
Japan v Brazil: Preview
|5/27||H: Cyprus||6/3||H: Panama|
|6/1||A: Costa Rica||6/6||H: Serbia|
Brazil striker Hulk knows from his time in Japan that the Asian champions will present Brazil with a difficult test in Wroclaw tomorrow night.
Hulk had spells with Kawasaki Frontale, Consadole Sapporo and Tokyo Verdy early in his career before making his name at Porto. He joined Zenit St Petersburg for a reported £40million over the summer.
And the 26-year-old is full of respect for a Japan side which won 1-0 against France on Friday.
He told the Brazilian Football Federation's official website: "I know some of the Japan players from the time I played there and they are talented guys.
"The Japanese national team were known for running a lot but it's no longer like that. The win over France proves this.''
Brazil boss Mano Menezes will have to make changes from the side which thrashed Iraq 6-0 in Sweden on Friday night with Real Madrid left-back Marcelo ruled out for the rest of the year with a broken bone in his foot while Chelsea midfielder Ramires is doubtful with a stomach problem.
"Marcelo twisted his right foot and a fracture followed it. He will return to Madrid today and needs a three-month recovery period. Surgery is also not ruled out,'' Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Globoesporte.com.
Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa is hoping Japan can build on the win in France by upsetting another of world football's big guns.
Japan have not beaten Brazil in eight meetings and Kagawa accepts it will be a tough outing.
He said in remarks reported by L'Equipe: "Brazil are stronger than France so it will be a real challenge.
"We have already said that our goal was to reach the quarter-finals of the next World Cup.
"We have two years to prepare for it, and we require more confidence in our game.''