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11.09.2013 Sports News

Appiah ready for play-offs dress rehearsal

By Ghana FA
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Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah is ready to utilize his full squad as he begins preparations towards the start of next month's World Cup play-offs.

The first of such preparatory task gets underway on Tuesday when the Black Stars line up against Japan in a friendly at the 70,000 capacity Yokohama International Stadium with kick-off at 10:00GMT [10:00am Ghana time].

Appiah's team are into the final round of qualifying for a place in Brazil after finishing tops from Group D last Friday but see the game with the Blue Samurai as an important step towards getting ready.

“We don't have many FIFA match days whereby the team can have the opportunity of looking at the younger ones who are all coming up,” Appiah said.

For the Black Stars coach the assignment on hand is a great opportunity for his other players to ready themselves on the big stage while some high-profile players - Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng, and Andre Ayew - are excused.

“And also sometimes, when you call them and they can't get games, you cant be sure whether they can play in competitive games.

“It's always important that such friendly games give them the opportunity to play since there are thousands of players that you have to look at when talking about the national team.”

The Ghana coach believes, Japan, who have already qualified for the World Cup will present his team team the needed competition.

“So, for me, it's always good to let them play in such big level games and check whether they can be part of the team for the next game or the future,” the Ghana coach said.

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