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Japan World Cup Betting Preview: Latest odds, squad and tournament history

08:57 BST 31/05/2018
Keisuke Honda Japan
The bookmakers expect Akira Nishino's side to outperform their fellow Asian qualifiers but they're the outsiders to qualify from Group H in Russia

Drawn alongside Colombia, Poland and Senegal in Group H, Japan should be well in the mix for a place in the knockout stages although their previous performances at the World Cup haven't proved particularly fruitful.

Qualification for the 2018 World Cup

Japan topped their final Asian qualification group, finishing a point ahead of both Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Prior to that they took 22 points from a possible 24 and didn't concede a single goal in their second round group.

However, due to a growing sense of discontent between the players, Japanese FA and manager Vahid Halilhodzic was sacked with just eight weeks to go until the start of the tournament and was replaced by Akira Nishino. As a result there will be plenty of unknowns in terms of playing style compared to the qualification campaign.

World Cup History

Since qualifying for the first time in 1998 Japan have been regulars at the World Cup finals. Russia will be their sixth consecutive tournament although their exploits have always ended in either a group stage or last 16 exit.

The Samurai Blue had a torrid time in Brazil four years ago, taking just a single point from their three matches and scoring just two goals in the process.

2018 World Cup Squad

GK DEF MID ST
Eiji Kawashima Yuto Nagatomo Makoto Hasebe Shinji Okazaki
Masaaki Higashiguchi Tomoaki Makino Keisuke Honda Yuya Osako
Kosuke Nakamura Maya Yoshida Takashi Inui Yoshinori Muto
  Hiroki Sakai Shinji Kagawa  
  Gotoku Sakai Hotaru Yamaguchi  
  Gen Shoji Genki Haraguchi  
  Wataru Endo Takashi Usami  
  Naomichi Ueda Gaku Shibasaki  
    Ryota Oshima  

Latest World Cup odds

Market Price
To win the World Cup 250/1 (251.0)
To make the World Cup final 100/1 (101.0)
To win Group H 13/2 (7.50)
To qualify from Group H 2/1 (3.0)
To be the top Asian team 13/8 (2.63)