Football

Japan will need to provide three good performances to progress in Brazil

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Squad

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

Defenders: Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96), Gotoku Sakai (VfB Stuttgart).

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Makoto Hasebe, Hiroshi Kiyotake (both FC Nuremberg), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F Marinos).

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Yuya Osako (TSV Munich 1860), Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale).

Fixtures

14 June v Ivory Coast (Recife)

19 June v Greece (Natal)

24 June v Colombia (Cuiaba)

Strengths

Japan are great on the ball with quick passing, movement and pace all around the pitch. Once they have possession, it is not given up easily as Hasebe dictates the tempo from deep midfield. They have an abundance of European experience, supporting full-backs and great creativity from midfield in the form of Kagawa and Honda.

Weaknesses

Despite a strong first XI, an injury could easily leave a gaping hole in the team. The squad has been together for a long time so there are some concerns over staleness and lack of spark. They can be wasteful in front of goal.

Key Player

Keisuke Honda sits in the hole and is the anchor to all of Japan’s attacking play. With vision and skill, he forms a great partnership with Kagawa and Okazaki in behind the striker.

Prediction

They can beat anyone on their day but they will have to put in three good performances in the space of 10 days to progress. The stumbling block could be fighting with Ivory Coast for second.

Odds

150/1

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

Topics:
World Cup
Football

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

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.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again