Yasuhito Endo and Yasuyuki Konno have been named in the Japan squad to face Canada and Jordan.
This news comes as no surprise as both are regular names in Alberto Zaccheroni’s squads. It does mean that they will miss Gamba’s trip to Roasso Kumamoto and the home tie against promotion rivals JEF United Chiba.
Both matches will take place in the Middle East with the Samurai Blue first travelling to Qatar for a friendly against Canada. That match takes place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on March 22 and will serve as the warm up to the World Cup qualifier against Jordan, which takes place four days later.
The pair will join up with the rest of the squad following the Yokohama FC match this weekend and will return on March 27 ahead of the trip to Sapporo. It will be interesting to see who is chosen to fill in for them during their absence.
If Japan are victorious in the Jordanian capital Amman then they will become the first team other than the hosts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – a feat that they also achieved four years ago for the previous World Cup. If they do qualify then it will be a fifth successive qualification.