Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is expecting his country to be challenging Australia for the runners-up spot in Group F.
Brazil are overwhelming favourites to finish top of a tough group that also includes Croatia, but Nakamura believes the Socceroos will be a tougher proposition than the European outfit.
The Celtic star 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.
"Australian players have proven themselves to be highly skilled as they could organise themselves as soon as the new coach (Guus Hiddink) arrived."
Japan face Australia in their opening group game in Kaiserslautern on Monday.