Japan in the 2010 World Cup were knocked out at the last 16 stage, giving a strong showing throughout, after progressing from a group that consisted of Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast.
They have a chance of doing the same again, with a number of European based players performing well especially this season.
Japan will be looking to do well and with wily veteran manager Alberto Zaccheroni, they will rely on him to do just that.
The Probable Squad of 23:
Goalkeepers - Eiji Kawashima, Shusaku Nishikawa and Shuichi Gonda
Defenders - Yuichi Komano, Yasuyuki Konno, Yuto Nagatomo, Maya Yoshida, Masahiko Inoha, Gotoku Sakai and Atsuto Uchida
Midfielders - Yasuhito Endo, Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda, Hajime Hosogai, Hiroshi Kiyotake, Makoto Hasebe, Hotaru Yamaguchi and Manabu Saito
Forwards - Shinji Okazaki, Yuya Osako, Takashi Inui, Mike Havenaar, Masato Kudo
Key player - Keisuke Honda has proven a key player when at CSKA Moscow, and that was thrust upon him quickly at AC Milan. With Japan he has the world on his shoulders, with his ability on the ball at all angles, he can produce when it matters.
This will be vital for Japan, who have got a good chance in an even group. Honda will need to score and provide goals for the team to qualify.
Player to watch - Gotoku Sakai has established himself at the heart of the Stuttgart team since 2012 and he's only 23, with his experience already the World Cup will potentially fine-tune his skills further and put into a wider market which could result in him moving this summer to a bigger club.
The manager - Alberto Zaccheroni the veteran manager took charge in August 2010, he has led a strong reign with some notable results and with a mix of European and Japanese based players, the talent pool is growing for him to work from.
With his vast Italian experience, that will be looking to come to the forefront in this World Cup and with a group where they could make the last 16.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms