Vahid Halilhodžić’s Japan side will present a vastly different challenge to what the Caltex Socceroos have faced in the first three group games so far, predicts Australian striker Robbie Kruse.
“We played the first three games were against packed defences. They sat back and tried to get us frustrated and get us on the counter attack,” the Bayer Leverkusen winger told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
“Japan will be different to that. They like to play a similar style to us, a lot of possession, changes of positions and trying to get the ball and keep it so it’s going to be difficult.
“They are a great side; have some great players playing regularly in some top leagues in the world.
“It’s going to be tough but we’re not fearful. We’re confident in our ability, were the champions of Asia and I’m sure it will be a good result for us.”
Australia’s preparations for the match were made a little tougher after turbulence on the flight from Jeddah meant they had to be diverted to Adelaide to refuel.
It meant the squad arrived into camp in Melbourne late on Saturday night.
“It’s part of the job. Everyone’s a little bit tired but we’re used to it now, a lot of us are experienced enough to be able to overcome these things,” Kruse added.
“We have world-class staff here, the physios, the doctors, the medical staff; we get looked after in the best way.
"Urine tests, heart-rate monitors, they know if we’re feeling good or not.
“We’ll be ready to go. Everyone wants to play in this game. It’s a massive game and a massive test.”