World Cup 2014 team preview – Japan

Manager: Alberto Zaccheroni

Captain: Makoto Hasebe


The first team to qualify. The champions of asia. They have a myriad of excellent players in midfield, but whether they’re sturdy enough to match Ivory Coast and Colombia up front remain to be seen.  Japan is a surprise package in this world cup. Not a favorable group for them. As Ivory Coast and Colombia are clearly favorites to push through , but they can defeat them.


Notable Strength –  Flying Fullbacks with Yuto Nagatomo and Atsuto Uchida. Experienced and creative Yasuhito Endo and Makoto Hasebe at the midfield . Keisuke Honda Shinji Kagawa  on the attack.

Notable Weakness – Excellent Attackers , but a striker who can convert goals ? sure Kagawa can score , Honda can score . but neither is playing as a striker.


Projected Starting XI



Goalkeeper – Eiji Kawashima  starting for Blue Samurais

Defenders – Attacking fullbacks  Yuto Nagatomo  and Atsuto Uchida  will be expected to start for japan. With Yasuyuki Konno and Maya Yoshida will be at the center back.

Midfielders – Yasuhito Endo And Makoto Hasebe will as the engine for the Japanese midfield. Expect them to provide useful balls to Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa   who will be playing a more attacking role.

Forwards –  Shinji Okazaki can Start , Hiroshi Kiyotake is there also , Yoichiro Kakitani can also . Who will start ? who knows.

Key Player – Keisuke Honda is expected to lead this team. especially having a good cover from midfield for him.

Notable Missing Players – Hajime Hosogai is not the final 23 . The Defensive midfield could provide good cover for Endo and Hasebe

Surprise –  Yoichiro Kakitani ! Could be a surprise for Japan. A foreign club move for him is possible if he performs well in this world cup.


One to Watch –  Shinji Kagawa , He’s the one to watch. How he can play well with Honda who theoretically has been playing the same role as his.

Young Star -Hotaru Yamaguchi will provide cover in the veteran midfield , but Gōtoku Sakai will surely have his chances on that high flying fullback of japan



Making it out of the Group Stages , is not a easy task them for them . but they should because they have the capabilities to do it. Making it to the round of 16 is not a bad finish.

Complete Squad


Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)

Forwards: Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nurnberg), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F-Marinos), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich)

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