Big guns Japan and Australia face awkward away ties in the latest round of qualifying games for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Tuesday.GettyImagesAustralia celebrate Alex Brosque's late winner against Thailand
Japan take on Asian Cup semi-finalists Uzbekistan in Tashkent, while the Socceroos face a long journey to play Saudi Arabia in the stifling heat of Dammam. Both sides will be aiming to kick their campaigns into life after leaving it perilously late to snatch winners in the opening games of the third-round group stage on Friday.
The Samurai Blue squeaked past a dogged North Korean side thanks to a 94th-minute goal and Australia were just six minutes away from a humiliating draw at home to lowly Thailand when substitute Alex Brosque hit a winner to spare their blushes. Japan reached the last 16 in last year's World Cup in South Africa and won this year's Asian Cup, but boss Alberto Zaccheroni has warned his side to expect a tough fight in every qualifier. They will be without talismanic playmaker Keisuke Honda again on Tuesday, after the CSKA Moscow midfielder underwent surgery on his knee last Thursday.
Australia's coach Holger Osieck said his side nearly paid the price for poor execution against a Thai side 98 places below them in the FIFA rankings, and the German will expect a marked improvement against the Saudis.
South Korea go to Kuwait and will be happy to pick up where they left off on Friday, when a hat-trick from Arsenal new boy Park Chu-Young took them to a thumping 6-0 win over Lebanon.
China will be hoping to continue their successful start under new coach Jose Antonio Camacho away to Jordan, after their 2-1 win over Singapore, while the North Koreans face Tajikistan in Pyongyang.
Singapore take on 2007 Asian champions Iraq at home and Thailand will look to pick themselves up after the late heartbreak in Brisbane as they face Oman in Bangkok.
Lebanon face the United Arab Emirates at home and in Group E, Indonesia host Bahrain and Qatar take on Iran in Doha.
Ten teams - winners and runners-up of the five third-round groups - will be drawn into two pools for the round-robin fourth stage, with the eventual top two in each section earning a ticket to Brazil. The two third-placed teams will then face each other for the right to contest an intercontinental play-off.