Coach: Akira Nishino

Star player: Shinji Kagawa

World Cup best: Second round 2002, 2010

How they got here: Will be appearing at their sixth consecutive World Cup finals after winning their qualification group. Did not win any of their three group games at the 2014 tournament.

Squad news: Other than the drama over the manager's position where Nishino replaced Vahid Halilhodzic at the beginning of April it has been a relatively calm run into the tournament for the Japanese. Defender Hiroki Sakai is nursing a knee ligament injury but should be fit.
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