Alberto Zaccheroni has named his 26-man Japan squad for World Cup qualifiers against Australia and Iraq in June.
The Blue Samurai currently sit six points clear on top of the Group B Asian table with 13 points from six matches but that hasn’t stopped Italian boss Zaccheroni from putting forward a very strong squad.
Japan, who will compete in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup later in June, host third-placed Australia in Saitama on June 4 before heading to Doha to meet Iraq on June 11 with qualification to Brazil 2014 so agonisingly close.
The Japanese side will automatically qualify for the WC finals if they avoid defeat to the Socceroos or if Iraq do not beat Oman in Muscat on the same matchday.
Japan squad for June WC qualifiers
Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata)
Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka)
Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F. Marinos)
Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata)
Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan, ITA)
Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04, GER)
Maya Yoshida (Southampton, ENG)
Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96, GER)
Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart, GER)
Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka)
Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale)
Makoto Hasebe (VfL Wolfsburg, GER)
Hajime Hosogai (Bayer Leverkusen *transferred to Hertha Berlin)
Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow, RUS)
Hideto Takahashi (FC Tokyo)
Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata)
Shinji Okazaki (Stuttgart, GER)
Mike Havenaar (Vitesse Arnhem, NED)
Takashi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt, GER)
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United, ENG)
Hiroshi Kiyotake (FC Nuremberg, GER)
Masato Kudo (Kashiwa Reysol)
Keigo Higashi (FC Tokyo)