He’ll be doing his best to put a dent into their FIFA World Cup hopes tonight but Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has also revealed his huge regard for Japanese football.
Ahead of the two nation’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Melbourne, Postecoglou said he expects another titanic tussle between Australia and Japan.
While there is plenty of history between the two AFC rivals, the Caltex Socceroo boss says he has plenty of admiration for the Japanese game.
“My view is the J-League is the strongest league in the region, I admire the way the league is run,” Postecgolou said.
“They are the number one country in youth development as well and it’s probably only at national team level we can justifiably challenge them at the moment.
“But our A-League is growing and our benchmark is to make it as strong a competition as the J-League is.
“For us there’s respect there and we recognise the strength of Japanese football and its growth. But we also know at national team level we compete very well.
“There’s a mutual respect there between the two nations and when I look at the players that will be on the pitch on Tuesday night I think you’ll see a high quality game and a game that’s going to excite the supporters.”
In all, there has been 23 meetings between the two nations, with Australia winning seven, Japan eight and the other eight have been drawn.
The Caltex Socceroos currently lead the standings in Group B after three matches, level on seven points with Saudi Arabia.
Japan and UAE are a point further back. The Saudis and UAE also meet on Tuesday night, in Jeddah.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t