Associated Press  |  Last updated May 23, 2013
Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa were picked Thursday in Japan's 26-man squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Australia next month. Japan has 13 points in Group B of Asian qualifying and can clinch its fifth straight World Cup appearance with a draw against Australia on June 4 at Saitama Stadium. Australia is third with six points and needs to do well in its remaining three matches to secure a top-two placing to guarantee qualification for the tournament in Brazil. Honda has been struggling with injuries and wasn't in the lineup when Japan lost 2-1 at Jordan on March 26 for its first qualifying defeat. Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo has also been dealing with injuries but was included in the squad. Honda and Stuttgart players Shinji Okazaki and Gotoku Sakai will join the squad the day before the Australia game. Honda is set to play in the Russian Cup final, while Okazaki and Sakai will compete in the German Cup final. ''I am not exactly sure what kind of shape they'l...
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