Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden has the inside word on Australia's opponents Japan ahead of Tuesday night's blockbuster in Melbourne.
Japan arrive in Melbourne looking to leapfrog above Australia on top of Group B on matchday four of the final round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Samurai Blue haven't won in Australia in past FIFA World Cup qualifiers but there is no better time than this.
The latest FIFA rankings have Japan as the sixth-best team in Asia and while that is surely an anomaly, it reflects the up and down nature of the four-time Asian champion in recent times.
Defeat at home to the United Arab Emirates has put the pressure on while removing some room for error. There was some bad luck in that game and Japan bounced back well with a comfortable 2-0 win in Bangkok.
Japan defeated Iraq 2-1 on Thursday night, even if it needed a 95th minute Hotaru Yamaguchi strike to secure the points.
It eases the pressure off a little for the game in Australia, the biggest test yet.
One problem for Japan is that a number of its biggest stars –Keisuke Honda, Maya Yoshida, Shinji Kagawa, Yuto Nagatomo and Shinji Okazaki – have barely played so far this season for their clubs in Italy, England and Germany.
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
The Bosnian came to Japan not long after the 2014 World Cup when his Algeria team impressed with pace, power, aggression and no little skill.
The Fennecs pushed eventual champion Germany all the way in the knockout stage. His time in Japan has not really got going but he is trying to create a faster and more aggressive version of Japan.
A win in Australia would really earn the plaudits and could be the defining result of his tenure.
How they will play?
Likely to be 4-2-3-1. Though there may be a couple of changes after the Iraq game but Australia know Japan's style well after a number of meetings over the years.
The full-backs get forward often and quickly with Gotoku Sakai on the left and Hiroki Sakai on the right do just that against Iraq.
Shinji Kagawa was left on the bench - though could start in Melbourne - as was Yuto Nagatomo while Makoto Hasebe and Yosuke Kashiwagi shielded the defence and looked to start attacks.
Expect plenty of passing through the middle, lots of movement further ahead and Leicester City's Shinji Okazaki working his socks off.
Is it good or bad for the Caltex Socceroos that one of Asia's biggest talents has spent most of the season so far sitting on the AC Milan bench?
Honda will be raring to go in Melbourne and remind fans around the continent and perhaps Europe too, of what he is capable of.
If Honda plays well then Japan play well as he scores as well as creates. Is due a big performance for his country.
Japan is better known for producing top quality midfielders like Hiroshi Kiyotake but game in, game out Maya Yoshida is there in the middle of defence.
The Southampton defender is not the old-fashioned centre-back but when you are as fast and as intelligent as Yoshida, you don't need to be diving into tackles.
Doesn't always get the headlines but a fine defender.
Ahead of the Iraq and Australia games, a haul of four points would have been satisfactory and still is.
A draw, in what is Japan's toughest game in the group, would be fine. Anything more, a major cause for celebration.
The Samurai Blue are not firing on all cylinders but Melbourne could be the place for their campaign to kick into top gear.
History repeats: the stats you need to know ahead of Kuwait v Caltex Socceroos
It’s nearly time – your Caltex Socceroos go head to head with Kuwait on Tuesday morning (3.30am AEDT). Anticipation for the start of the Graham Arnold era has been rising for some time now, but it all finally gets underway on the pitch in Australia’s clash with the Middle East
Arnold challenges his Caltex Socceroos to show their quality against Kuwait
The preparations are complete and new boss Graham Arnold now wants his Caltex Socceroos to show their quality in Tuesday morning’s (AEDT) friendly against Kuwait. Australian football’s new era gets underway at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium as Arnold takes charge of his fir
‘It will be free-flowing attacking football’: Rogic set to thrive in Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos
Tom Rogic is relishing the freedom he’ll have in Graham Arnold’s attack-minded Caltex Socceroos game-plan which is set to be unleashed against Kuwait on Tuesday morning (AEDT). Arnold takes charge of his first match in charge of the national team tomorrow in a vital pre-AFC As
Camp in quotes: Attack-minded sessions have Caltex Socceroos raring to go
Attack has been the focus of the latest Caltex Socceroos camp and, as a result, the mood among the players is one of excitement and anticipation. The excitement comes from not just the latest camp, in the United Arab Emirates ahead of Tuesday morning’s (AEDT) showdown with Kuw