Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni will rely heavily on Europe-based stars Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda when his team faces Oman, Jordan and Australia in the final round of World Cup qualifiers in Asia.
Kagawa looked unstoppable over the second half of the German league season while helping Borussia Dortmund to its first domestic league, cup double. The 23-year-old forward kept the momentum going when he scored the first goal in Japan's 2-0 win over Azerbaijan in a friendly on May 23.
Japan hosts Oman on June 3 at Saitama Stadium and Jordan five days later before playing at regional archrival Australia on June 12. The qualifying Group B also includes Iraq.
Honda's career was interrupted by an injury last year, but the 25-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder will be looking re-establish his role as a team leader after being out of the spotlight for so long.
Honda and Kagawa are among 12 Europe-based players named by Zaccheroni, who said it's too early to start thinking about the number...