Always improving Japan are set to qualify for Brazil and could thrive at the World Cup.
A talented young group shone at this summer’s Olympics, reaching the semi finals in London without players such as Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa or Inter Milan's Yuto Nagotomo.
With a number of players now plying their trade in the Bundesliga, and up and coming stars such as Arsenal's Ryo Miyaichi and Gotoku Sakai of Stuttgart, Japan should be able to go beyond the last 16 in Brazil.
Although not the same level, the Olympics are a useful indicator of the strength of up and coming young teams, and the reigning Asian Cup champions threw down a marker with a recent friendly win over France. A decent bet to make it to the last eight in Brazil.