Leicester City's Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki says he's spoken with his Foxes teammate and former Socceroo Mark Schwarzer about meeting Australia again in World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018.
Australia and Japan were drawn together in the final round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday night, along with Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Iraq and UAE in a tricky Group B in the AFC.
This is the third World Cup qualifying campaign in a row these two AFC heavyweights have been drawn together.
Japan play in Australia this October in what will be another blockbuster meeting before the sides meet in the Land of the Rising Sun in August 2017.
It adds to an already fabulous rivalry going back famously to the 2006 World Cup where Australia defeated the Samurai Blue in the group stage.
The 29-year-old Okazaki - who is set to become a Premier League winner and play in next season's UEFA Champions League with Leicester - is wary about the task ahead against Ange Postecoglou's men.
What's more, the former Shimizu S-Pulse and Stuttgart striker is hell-bent on revenge over UAE after they knocked Japan out of the 2015 Asian Cup on penalties in Australia at the quarter final stage.
"First of all, I'm delighted to face UAE again," Okazaki told Omnisport in an exclusive interview.
"I really wanted UAE in our group. I can't forget the humiliation.
"I really wanted to beat them in the qualifiers. This is my first impression when I saw the draw.
"About Australia, we are always in the same group. That's my impression.
"[Former Socceroos goalkeeper] Mark Schwarzer is here [at Leicester] and I spoke with Mark about it. Overall, there are no easy matches.
"As everybody says, the standard of Asian football is improving and world football's level is also rising quickly nowadays.
"We can't get wins easily in Asia anymore."
Aussies Abroad: Two-year Danish Superliga record falls as Mabil's Midtjylland lose to Brondby
Awer Mabil’s hopes of clinching the Danish Superliga title with FC Midtjylland suffered a blow after a 2-1 loss to Brondby earlier this morning. Marc Dal Hende opened the scoring early for Midtjylland, but a swift equaliser from Simon Hedlund and a deflected winner from Jens M
Former Caltex Socceroos striker announces retirement
Former Caltex Socceroos forward and Adelaide United legend Bruce Djite has announced his retirement from football. Djite, 32, was most recently playing for Indonesian club PSM Makassar before returning to Australia last year. “I’ve had a few opportunities come up that inter
Aussies Abroad: Milligan and Rogic locked in Scotland, big wins for Amini and Giannou
Tom Rogic and Mark Milligan locked horns as the Scottish Premier League's runaway leaders, Celtic, were held by Hibernian in a stalemate at Easter Road. The Caltex Socceroo pair shared the pitch for around ten minutes as steely midfielder Milligan bustled for 70 minutes, while
Aussies Abroad: Ryan clean sheet puts Brighton in reach of safety
It may be an Easter long-weekend but that does not mean there is any less action for our overseas Caltex Socceroos. A clean sheet from Mat Ryan helped secure a vital point for Brighton & Hove Albion in the race for English Premier League survival, as they held Wolverhampton Wa