Ralph Hasenhüttl has confirmed that he will be without defender Maya Yoshida due to his involvement in the 2019 Asian Cup with Japan.
Yoshida played a key role as Saints kept a clean sheet to earn a valuable point against Chelsea and will now join up with Hajime Moriyasu’s 23-man squad.
Samurai Blue, who are in Group F of the competition, face Turkmenistan on 9th January, before meeting Oman on 13th January and rounding off their group fixtures with a clash against Uzbekistan on 17th January.
Hasenhüttl said: "I miss Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Maya Yoshida both nearly until the end of January, and they are two of my best players.
"But we will find also the right decision to bring a good team on the pitch.
“A team which has a good plan is a team that can also win without Maya or Pierre. Looking forward, if we perform like we did against Chelsea then we can win also without them.”