Japan vs. Netherlands: Preview and TV schedule

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Japan and the Netherlands meet in Belgium early on Saturday, in a friendly with the rare potential to entertain.

Japan under the guidance of Italian Alberto Zaccheroni have been rather unpredictable. The former scudetto-winning AC Milan coach ensured his side became the first nation to guarantee their spot at  next year's World Cup, though has come under fire for his side's underwhelming Confederations Cup campaign, and recent back-to-back friendly defeats to Serbia and Belarus.

They're a side filled with talented players, with the most notable being Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda, and, when in full flow, pressing high up the pitch and rapidly interchanging in attack, they've been a joy to watch. The question now, is whether they'll manage to find any consistency before Brazil 2014. They meet the Netherlands in a friendly on Saturday morning, hoping to end their poor run with a win.

The Netherlands haven't lost a game in over a year, and have looked excellent in their recent matches. However, they'll be without newly-crowned all-time top scorer Robin van Persie through injury in this match, with fellow centre-forwards Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ricky van Wolfswinkel also unavailable. Midfielder Siem de Jong could find himself filling in up front. Midfielder Jordy Clasie is also out. Japan have no real injury concerns, though regular striker Ryoichi Maeda has been omitted from Zaccheroni's squad.

Projected lineups

Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Yūto Nagatomo, Yasuyuki Konno, Maya Yoshida, Atsuto Uchida; Yasuhito Endō, Makoto Hasebe; Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki; Yuya Osako.

Netherlands: Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Stefan de Vrij, Ron Vlaar, Daley Blind; Rafael van der Vaart, Nigel de Jong, Kevin Strootman; Arjen Robben, Siem de Jong, Jeremain Lens.

Match Date/Time: Saturday, 1:15 p.m. local, 7:15 a.m. ET

Venue: Cristal Arena, Genk, Belgium

TV: TV Asahi, SKY PerfecTV LIVE (Japan)

Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S. and Canada)

Follow @SBNationSoccer on TwitterLike SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Portugal, Greece grab big advantages

Potential destinations for Eddie Johnson

Zlatan vs. Cristiano: There can only be one

Timbers gunning for playoff scoring record

France’s transition a badly-timed one

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.