Japan's star player may have vertigo and it may have lost heavily to the nation it defeated in last year’s World Cup final just three but World Champion remains a daunting prospect for Australia.
Football Federation Australia will stream the match LIVE from 6.10pm here
The Matildas head into their international match against Japan in Tokyo with a noticeably youthful side, making the challenge of defeating their regional nemesis an even steeper one.
Several of Australia's experienced stars will play, including Melissa Barbieri, Thea Slatyer, Kate Gill and Sarah Walsh, but there are also seven players who took part in the 2011 AFC Under-19 Championships, where the Young Matildas finished fifth and failed to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup.
One of the brightest lights of that tournament was striker Emily Gielnik, who is be hoping to make her senior international debut this evening.
The 20 year-old forward scored a hat-trick in the Young Matildas' opening match against Vietnam but thereafter the side collectively managed only another four goals in the competition.
“I don’t know what went wrong, we can’t blame it on just one factor but for now we need to do well tonight and then focus on qualifying for the next World Cup,” Gielnik said.
Gielnik was one of the stars of the 2011 W-League with Brisbane Roar, finishing the season as the second- highest scorer in the competition. She scored eight of her nine goals as a substitute.
That was enough to catch the eye of the senior team with Matildas coach Tom Sermanni saying he’s been impressed by Gielnik’s development.
“We’re finally starting to see her potential," he said. "She had a couple of years where she had niggling injuries but we saw just what she’s capable of in the W-League last year.”
“She has always had certain elements that she’s excelled at, like her physical presence and pace, but she’s developed another side to her game in the past 12 months or so.
"She’s getting a real eye for goal and she’s making a habit of scoring key goals. She’s a real important player for us moving forward.”
Those goals also earned her a move to England where she plays for one of the world’s most famous clubs, Liverpool, in the FA Women’s Super League.
“Obviously Liverpool is a massive club and I’m, thrilled to be there," Gielnik said. "The league is quite strong and even some of the lower sides can beat those higher up on their day so it’s quite tough.
“I’m sure the experience in England will benefit me when I return to the A-League.
"The standard is very strong and technically all the players are amazing. Everyone’s got that instant skill, touch on the ball and game awareness.
"The aggression is also different but in terms of speed we’re not playing in the boiling heat which means the game is faster in Australia but in England it’s definitely better than average.”
That’s an apt description for the ‘Nadeshiko,’ Japan’s women’s side which, along with North Korea, finished above Australia in Olympic qualifying, meaning the Matildas will miss out on the Games for the second consecutive time after being a quarter-finalist in Athens in 2004.
On that occasion Japan defeated Australia 1-0 and the match on Tuesday will be the first time the two nations have met since then.
“They’re obviously an amazing side and they’re the World Champions but we’ve got a lot of good players with good individual skills so hopefully that’ll work well for us this evening,” Gielnik said.
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).