Japan looking ready

The Asian Cup kicks off at the weekend with Japan's first match on 9th January against Turkmenistan and Hajime Moriyasu side look ready. The Samurai Blues will be looking to win their fifth Asian Cup and first since 2011. The country looks in impressive form and goes into the tournament undefeated under the new boss. 

Expect goals for Japan 

In the past the good Japan sides have been based on having a strong defensive unit however under Moriyasu they will be looking to attack. Then with Japan being the joint-favourites, we can expect to see goals. The goals have been seen already under its new guidance with the country picking up 15 goals in their five matches since the World Cup.

The strong defence can still be seen as they have kept three clean sheets in these five matches. However, Japan did beat Uruguay 4-3 back in October when defending clearly went out the window.

Overall they have kept to the same shape as previous coaches but the personnel as seen a big change since the World Cup. This is seen with an influx of younger talent getting a chance to impress. It was partly was forced in some ways upon Moriyasu with Honda retiring and Kagwa not getting first-team football at the moment.

Although the attacking midfield trio of Ritsu Doan, Shoya Nakajima and Takumi Minamino have impressed hugely and are to be looked out for in the UAE next month. The one that's caught my eye and many others is Shoya Nakajima who currently plays his club football in Portugal for Portimonense. There are strong rumours however he could be on his way to Wolves in England in the near future.

Below is the full 23 man squad for Japan announced last week;

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol)

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji (Kashima Antlers), Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds)

Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale)

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz)

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