Manchester United forward Shinji Kagawa left out of Japan squad for World Cup qualifiers


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The Independent Football

Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa has been left out of Japan's World Cup qualifier away to Oman next week as he recovers from a knee injury.

CSKA midfielder Keisuke Honda and Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo were among an otherwise full-strength Japan squad named by coach Alberto Zaccheroni on Monday for the Nov. 14 game.

The Italian selected 13 Europe-based players in his 23-man party, although winger Ryo Miyaichi was once again overlooked as he continues to kick his heels on the bench at Wigan Athletic.

Playmaker Kagawa scored the winner as Japan stunned 1998 World Cup winners France 1-0 in Paris last month in a warm-up for their clash with Oman.

However, Zaccheroni was confident the Asian champions would cope in his absence.

"Kagawa and Honda have been regular features in my squads but they haven't always been available because of injuries," the Japan coach told reporters.

"But the players who have come in to deputise have all performed well. Kagawa is missing but I'm confident whoever plays will do a job."

Japan head to Muscat five points clear at the top of Group B in the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Victory would all but secure qualification.