Japan prepare best for Australia

Japan have named a strong squad for a friendly against Azerbaijan, ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the Qantas Socceroos.

Japan have named a strong squad for an international friendly against Azerbaijan, ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Qantas Socceroos.

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni selected CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda and sought-after Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa, as part of an experienced squad of European-based players as he looks to find his best XI before the next stage of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Zaccheroni also named Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo and Bolton Wanderers striker Ryo Miyaichi for the game in Shizuoka next week.

"This game will give me a good chance to look at the condition of the European-based players and new candidates that are in form in the J.League," Zaccheroni told the Japan Times.

Honda has been the key figure for Japan in recent internationals but has suffered a series of injury setbacks that have kept him on the sidelines, and Zaccheroni is eager to have his key man back for the qualifying matches.

"I haven't seen (Honda) play since August. He is still recovering so I want to have a good look at his condition in training," the Italian said. "If he appears OK, then, of course, I am going to give him a game."

The Qantas Socceroos face Japan on Tuesday, 12 June at Brisbane-s Suncorp Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm.

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Japan squad: Goalkeepers — Eiji Kawashima (Lierse), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo) Defenders: Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama F Marinos), Yuhei Tokunaga (FC Tokyo), Masahiko Inoha (Vissel Kobe), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Hiroki Sakai (Kashiwa Reysol) Midfielders: Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Hajime Hosogai (Augsburg), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Hideto Takahashi (FC Tokyo), Ariajasuru Hasegawa (FC Tokyo) Forwards: Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Shinji Okazaki (Stuttgart), Takayuki Morimoto (Novara), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Genki Haraguchi (Urawa Reds), Ryo Miyaichi (Bolton Wanderers)