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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

It's Doha or die for Japan against Qatar

Three-time Asian Cup winners Japan are looking to record a crucial victory over Qatar when the two sides meet at Al Sadd Stadium in the World Cup 2010 Qualifiers on Wednesday.

Both sides are level in Group One with four points and trail Australia by two and Japan coach Takeshi Okada is focussed on the task at hand in Doha in order to boost their hopes of qualifying for a fourth consecutive appearance at the World Cup.

"We want to go back with three points. That's our aim," said Okada. "We are well prepared for this match. I am happy with the way we have approached this match. I am extremely happy to find the weather so much to our liking. In fact, I am quite surprised that it is so pleasant.

"As a team, my players are in great physical condition."

Japan have not previously beaten Qatar in a senior international match having lost two and drawn three games but Okada is not looking at past form.

"I am not aware of the history," he added. "I have a short memory. I am just focused on winning this match. We had a good game against Syria last Saturday (which Japan won 3-1). I don't have any negative feelings (going into this match)."

Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura is a doubtful starter with a knee injury for Japan.

Meanwhile Bruno Metsu is still seeking his first win as Qatar coach after three matches in charge.

"Japan are one of the top teams in Asia," said the Frenchman. "They have a settled combination. They may not be the Japan of old but their players regularly appear for European teams. They have good experience of top level football.

"Japan are a dangerous side but we are also well prepared for this game. We have played a couple of friendly games recently and I am satisfied with what we achieved. I know their weaknesses. I know how they play. But we are ready for them."

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