We'll have Japanese for lunch, says Kuyt

Netherlands v Japan: Today, Durban, 12.30pm, ITV1

The Dutch and Japanese teams had one of those eye-opening experiences which should quell most nerves before today's match in Durban.

Heavy overnight rain meant neither team was able to train at the Moses Mabhida Stadium so they were taken to the Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwamashu Township. Kwamashu is normally in the news for being South Africa's murder capital, quite a distinction, with 300 killings recorded in a 12-month period. That was a year ago, and government investment, including the stadium, is slowly improving matters in the 500,000-head township, but the training sessions still represented a dramatic shift from the routine normally observed by footballers.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said he thought it was good for his players to see the township. His main focus, though, was assessing Arjen Robben's work-out. The likelihood is Robben will not be risked. The Dutch, like the Japanese, won their opening match and have no need to gamble. "It's quite something that he trained with us today," said Van Marwijk, "but we have to wait and see how he responds. "

The two teams met as recently as September. The Netherlands won 3-0 but found Japan hard to master for the first hour. "That was a big turning point for us," said Japan coach Takeshi Okada. "We hardly had opportunities before to play against world-class teams. That match led us to understand what the positives and negatives were for our team. We now have a Japanese style of playing and have been focusing on our strategy to beat the world-class teams."

"We cannot compare that game to this one," said Van Marwijk. "This is going to be a tougher. I expect a very aggressive Japan; they have progressed a lot."

There may be a slight edge on the bench. Van Marwijk failed to recognise his counterpart when they met at the draw, mistaking him for a federation executive. For his part Okada said: "I am not close to Van Marwijk. I cannot pronounce properly the Dutch coach's surname but by that I don't mean any disrespect."

In addition Dirk Kuyt's attempt at humour may not be well received. Asked if he ate sushi the Liverpool striker said: "Tomorrow we are going to win. A lot of players like Japanese food, so perhaps we can have Japan for lunch."

What to watch out for: Fast Honda

Keisuke Honda, the eye-catching attacking midfielder, 24 last Sunday, who could sell an awful lot for shirts for a shrewd Premier League club. Currently at CSKA Moscow.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor