Japan ready for Colombia with or without Rodriguez

first_imgAmid the growing uncertainty surrounding James Rodriguez’s availability for Colombia in their World Cup opener, Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo insists that they will not change their approach regardlessThe Bayern Munich loan star produced a man-of-the-match display in Colombia’s 4-1 thrashing of Japan in the 2014 World Cup at Brazil.However, his availability for the Tricolors for Tuesday’s Group H opener appears to be in doubt due to a left calf problem.Rodriguez had been absent from Bayern earlier this season with a similar calf problem and he trained separately from the national squad on Thursday and was absent altogether the next day.But for Nagatomo it changes nothing as Japan prepare for their sixth successive appearance at a World Cup.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“Nothing changes. Whether (Rodriguez) plays or not, no matter who lines up for our opponents, the way we approach the game doesn’t change,” said Nagatomo, according to Japan Times.“The team and coach (Akira) Nishino have a strategy in place that doesn’t depend on whether a certain player is or isn’t in the opposing lineup.”While the Samurai Blue are prepared, either way, midfielder Genki Haraguchi admitted that they would prefer for Rodriguez to be unavailable for Colombia.“He’s their key player, so from our point of view, if he’s not playing, it makes things easier,” said the 27-year-old.The match will take place at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Tuesday.last_img