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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Japan's Nakamura fears Socceroos
Celtic's Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura
Nakamura feels Japan are competing for second place in the group
Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura believes Australia will be the team to beat to gain second place behind Brazil in Group F.

Celtic's Nakamura puts the Socceroos ahead of Croatia in a tough group which he expects to be dominated by World champions Brazil.

He said: "I think it will be easier for us to cope against Croatia, who play two up front and sit back a little bit.

"Australia are similar to us in style which makes them difficult to play."

Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who led South Korea to the semi-finals in 2002, guided Australia through the qualifying rounds and past a play-off against Uruguay to their first World Cup finals since 1974 just a few months after taking charge.

Nakamura said: "Australian players have proven themselves to be highly skilled as they could organise themselves as soon as the new coach arrived."

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