Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has highlighted Japan's rapid counter-attacks and dead-ball prowess as two areas his side will need to address if they are to progress through to the quarter-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Paraguay were surprise winners of Group F following the shock demise of defending champions Italy, and the South American outfit now find Japan standing between them and a first-ever place in the last eight.
Japan finished second behind the Netherlands in Group E after defeating Denmark 3-1 in a winner-takes-all showdown between the two nations in their final game. Looking at the threats Japan could pose his side in Pretoria on Tuesday, Martino said: "Fundamentally they are a team who get back into their defensive positions very well, using a back-line of four and practically five midfielders, with (Keisuke) Honda generally up front.
"When they get the ball they come out very quickly on the counter-attack, this is what we have to be careful of most, the fast breaks. When they find space they get men forward into attack and this is the most important issue to be careful about. And obviously from what we saw the other day, we need to try not to concede fouls near the area," added Martino, referring to the free-kicks scored by Honda and Yasuhito Endo against Denmark.