Leaders CSKA Moscow returned to winning ways to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the Russian Premier League while Zenit St Petersburg thrashed Alania Vladikavkaz and Anzhi Makhachkala also won.
CSKA Moscow will be without Keisuke Honda as they face Vladikavkaz, while Zenit St. Petersburg will have to get a result at Terek Grozny if they are to keep alive their hopes of retaining their title.
Japan travel to Jordan on Tuesday knowing that a win or even a draw could be enough to make them the first team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ for the second time in succession.
Japan are set to be without Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo for their upcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifier with Jordan, but coach Alberto Zaccheroni believes they can cope.
The Russian Premier League resumes on Friday after a winter break which saw a number of key transfers, with leaders CSKA Moscow out to hold off the twin challenges of Zenit St Petersburg and Anzhi Makhachkala.
2012 witnessed the decisive fourth round of qualifying in the Asian Zone for Brazil 2014. It's Japan who appear to be in the strongest position, while Australia will look to make home advantage count during the next calendar year.