Japan – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Alberto Zaccheroni
Captain: Makoto Hasebe
FIFA Ranking: 48
World Cup appearances: 4
Best World Cup: Last Sixteen – 2002 and 2010
Japan Team Profile
Japan have been a force to be reckoned with in Asia over the past decade or so. The Japanese squad will be somewhat of an unknown quantity with a mix of youth and experience in the squad and coming from one of the weaker qualification zones, it’s hard to judge just how they may perform because you don’t get to see a lot of them.
Japan came through qualification fairly comfortably in the end although manager, finishing four points clear of second placed Australia in their group. They were the first side to qualify for Brazil 2014 so have had plenty of preparation time. The Japanese only conceded five goals during qualification, while average two per game themselves. Of course all this has to be taken into context, as along with Australia, they played Iraq, Oman and Jordan. Not the toughest opposition.
But they seem to have that great industrious knack of punching above their weight, and they are always pretty enterprising. THey won’t have been too disappointed with the draw they got either as they face Colombia, Greece and the Ivory Coast in Group C. Their high work levels saw them almost reach the quarter finals four years ago, losing out on a penalty shootout against Paraguay in the round of sixteen.
Japan have an experienced Italian manager at the helm in Zaccheroni. After his playing career was cut short by injury, he sparked off a long managerial career. He has coached at some of the top clubs in Italy, having stints with AC Milan< Lazio, Inter Milan and Juventues. He had to miss the first two matches of his new job with Japan in 2010 because of issues with his visa. Still, hin his first match in charge he guided Japan to a famous 1-0 win over Argentina. He led them to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup as well. They seem to have a good thing going with him.
Japan Key Players
Keisuke Honda, who in 2009 signed for Russian giants CSKA Moscow and now plays for AC Milan, is a keyplayer with tremendous. You will have seen him rack up Champions LEague experience both with CSKA and Milan. He’s energetic and ambitious so it’s easy to see why the Japanese expect big things from him. A good engine to have in the centre of the park and complements tehe presence of veteran Yasuhito Endo very well. The 34 year old veteran is still knocking around. the oldest player in the squad.
Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa has looked a world class player, especially in his time with Borussia Dortmund. He has been a bit of a fringe player at Old Trafford, but a key part of the Japan machine in midfield. He has the pace adn creatitity to drive them forward and they will look heavily to him. He can be a great supply of goals in getting forward into space from midfield.
WIthout dubt their star man up from is Shinji Okazaki. The Mainz 05 striker has netted 38 goals in 73 appearnaces for his country. Still only 27 he has the legs, the speed and a great eye for goal. He can also drift out to the wing as well and just looks to be at the peakl of his career at the moment.
Japan Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 16
Goals Conceded: 5
World Cup Potential: 1/5
The Japanese have never really had a team to be reckoned with, at least not outside of the Asian continent. While so strong in their own continent, they have seemingly failed to produce the standard needed against teams from all across the globe. Their squad isn’t really recognisable to us, with many applying their trade over in Japan in a J league which is steadily growing in terms of global following and the fan base back home in Japan. They have actually got a lot of experience in their side, without being an older squad whatseover, and that is a relaly nice thing about them. A decent shot at getting out of the group stage, but overall there is a lack of physical strength, so they may struggle to hold their own in Brazil against some physically tough and well equipped nations.
Japan World Cup Betting Odds
Japan to win the World Cup: 50/1 – Bet365
Before the World Cup the odds on Japan were 150/1
Japan World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group C
|Sa 14th June||17.00||Colombia v Greece||3:0|
|Su 15th June||02:00||Ivory Coast v Japan||2:1|
|Th 19th June||17.00||Colombia v Ivory Coast||2:1|
|Th 19th June||23.00||Japan v Greece||0:0|
|Tu 24th June||21.00||Japan v Colombia||1:4|
|Tu 24th June||21.00||Greece v Ivory Coast||2:1|
World Cup 2014 Group C Table