Halilhodzic: We are fired up

Japan head coach Vahid Halilhodzic has revealed that his side are "fired up" ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Afghanistan, which will be held in Tehran on Tuesday.

Samurai Blue head into the match on the back of a 3-0 win over on Cambodia last week, a result which somewhat made amends for their surprising 0-0 draw with Singapore in June. 

"We have come here fired up and all we have to do is keep winning," Halilhodzic told Kyodo News. "There are two starting positions which I have yet to decide who will fill. Getting crosses into the box is an important theme. We have to be focused, show firm determination and go and get the win."

However, Halilhodzic admitted that he is worried about how the conditions, especially the long turf and high altitude, will impact his side's performance.

"I'd like the turf cut and hopefully watered. I will make an official request," he said. "It is different here to Tokyo and (the altitude) will tax the players' lungs."

Meanwhile, Afghanistan coach Slaven Skeledzic is hoping that his side can upset Japan and overtake them on the Group E standings. Japan are currently in third place with four points, while Afghanistan are in fourth place with three points. 

"If we played them (Japan) 10 times, nine times we would get thrashed, so hopefully this is the remaining one," Skeledzic told Bild.

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