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Will Mana Iwabuchi's absence affect Japan’s World Cup?

Iwabuchi has played over 90 games for her nation since her first appearance in 2010.

The forward has played for Bayern Munich, Aston Villa, Arsenal and is now currently at Tottenham Hotspur.

With Iwabuchi out of the squad, let’s look at who has been selected. There are 4 Women’s Super League players, including 2 for West Ham. The most noticeable is Manchester City midfielder Yui Hasegawa, who has played over 60 games for Japan at just 26 years old, whilst also playing 36 caps for their youth teams.

The West Ham duo Honoka Hayashi and Risa Shimizu are set to start for their nation, between them they have gathered over 80 appearances for Japan and both previously played in the 2019 World Cup in France. Shimizu will captain her nation at this World Cup.

Japan are the only Asian side to have won the World Cup, which they did so against the USA on penalties in Germany 2011. Since then they haven’t exceeded their nations goals in major competitions. In the last World Cup, they only reached the Round of 16, due to getting knocked out by the Netherlands.

Japan’s group consists of Spain, Costa Rica and Zambia, with this is mind they will be expected to get out of their group with the Spain game on the 31st July potentially being a decider of who comes first and second. The Japanese are ranked 11th in the FIFA World Rankings.

They have lost their last two warm up matches to Brazil and the USA, but how far in the competition do you believe Japan will go?

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