Japan World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds

Japan's Daichi Kamada celebrates after scoring during the international friendly soccer match between USA and Japan as part of the Kirin Challenge Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany - Japan World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds - AP/Martin Meissner
Japan's Daichi Kamada celebrates after scoring during the international friendly soccer match between USA and Japan as part of the Kirin Challenge Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany - Japan World Cup 2022 squad list, fixtures and latest odds - AP/Martin Meissner

Japan were the first nation to announce their squad, doing so on November 1, and there were some shock omissions, including Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi, and Russia 2018 veterans Genki Haraguchi and Yuya Osako.

Players familiar to a British audience, such as former Liverpool player Takumi Minamino, and Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu, have made the cut, however, as well as – in a break from recent history – a number of players with fewer than 10 senior caps, such as Celtic's Daizen Maeda.

Japan World Cup 2022 squad

Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda, Daniel Schmidt, Eiji Kawashima

Defenders: Miki Yamane, Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ko Itakura, Shogo Taniguchi, Hiroki Ito, Yuto Nagatomo, Yura Nakayama

Midfielders: Wataru Endo, Hidemasa Morita, Ao Tanaka, Gaku Shibasaki, Kaoru Mitoma, Daichi Kamada, Ritsu Doan, Junya Ito, Takumi Minamino, Takefusa Kubo, Yuki Soma

Forwards: Daizen Maeda, Takuma Asano, Ayase Ueda

Who is likely to be the star performer?

Brighton newcomer Kaoru Mitoma has been dazzling for both his country, and his new club.

Former Brighton manager Graham Potter spoke about Mitoma after the winger made his debut as a substitute, claiming that he was "going to cause full-backs a problem".

"He has got that ability to go by people that is quite unique," Potter added.

Mitoma scored both of the two goals against Australia which propelled his side into the World Cup finals, with just five minutes between them in the dying moments of the match.

How are Japan shaping up?

An ominous feeling settled over the Japan team upon watching their side drawn into Group E this April. Progressing to the knock-out stages of the competition will only come if they can beat Spain, Germany and Costa Rica, in one of the more formidable groups in the competition.

Japan are coached by Hajime Moriyasu, who served as assistant coach to Akira Nishino in 2018, and will hope for the same eye-catching form which defined their run in Russian. But Japan have been in inconsistent form since 2018, struggling against Oman and Saudi Arabia during their route through qualification for the tournament, but then beating USA at the end of September in a tune-up match.

Players from the national team will not be the country's only representatives in Qatar: Yoshimi Yamashita is one of the three female referees officiating the tournament, along with France's Stephanie Frappart, and Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda.

What are Japan's fixtures?

What is Japan's World Cup record?

Japan have appeared at every World Cup since 1998, and have progressed to the round 16 in 2002 – during the tournament they jointly hosted with South Korea – 2010, and 2018. 2018's iteration saw them exit the tournament after a particularly lively match against Belgium, who ended up finishing third in Russia.

In 2019, Japan competed in both the AFC Asian Cup, where they reached the final, losing to Qatar, and the Copa America, which they were invited to participate in for the second time.

Japan qualified for the 2022 World Cup by coming second in Group B of the AFC qualification tournament.

Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales

Latest odds

Fancy Japan to make it past their tough group with Spain and Germany? See all the latest group winner odds

Japan are currently a best price of 300/1 to win the World Cup.

The leading contenders...

  • Brazil 4/1

  • Argentina 11/2

  • France 6/1

  • England 8/1

  • Spain 17/2

  • Germany 10/1

Information correct as of November 13