Japan will send a depleted squad, missing Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura and four other regulars, to their final 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Australia.
Joining Nakamura as an absentee are Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo and Europe-based players Makoto Hasebe and Yoshito Okubo of VfL Wolfsburg and Venlo's Keisuke Honda.
Japan and Australia, who both qualified at the weekend for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, will clash in Melbourne next Wednesday for the top spot in Group A.
Australia top the table with 17 points from five wins and two draws, two points clear of Japan, who have four wins and three draws.
Nakamura, Hasebe, Honda, Okubo and Endo will not travel to Australia, the Japan Football Association said.
Endo is nursing an injury to his right hamstring, the FA said, and Hasebe is unavailable as he is serving out a two-match ban after receiving a red card in Japan's 1-0 away win over Uzbekistan on Saturday.
Both players missed Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Qatar in Yokohama. The remaining players would be rested for "conditioning," the FA said.
Goalkeepers: Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus), Ryota Tsuzuki (Urawa Red Diamonds), Eiji Kawashima (Kawasaki Frontale)
Defenders: Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama Marinos), Satoshi Yamaguchi (Gamba Osaka), Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Urawa), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Tomoaki Makino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers)
Midfielders: Hideo Hashimoto (Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Daisuke Matsui (Saint-Etienne), Yuki Abe (Urawa), Naoki Yamada (Urawa)
Forwards: Keiji Tamada (Nagoya Grampus), Kisho Yano (Albirex Niigata), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Shinzo Koroki (Kashima)