Kagawa confident Japan can cope without Hasebe

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa believes Japan has enough strength in depth to cover for Makoto Hasebe if the national team captain is forced, as expected, to sit out Thursday’s World Cup qualifier away to the United Arab Emirates.

Hasebe arrived in the UAE on Sunday, but with knee surgery looming, the Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder looks almost certain to be sidelined for the crucial Group B clash in Al Ain.

“The situation with Hase-san (Hasebe) is really unfortunate but we still have to get the job done,” said Kagawa. “Whoever comes in can definitely bring something different.

“They have to prove that they can fill the void and get themselves ready for the game.”

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic has named an experienced squad for Thursday’s game and next week’s home qualifier against Thailand and has provided Yasuyuki Konno with the opportunity to…

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