(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Iraq's coach Hakeem Shakir is looking forward to a repeat performance from his team when the 2007 Asian Cup winner takes on defending champion Kuwait in a Group B clash of the 21st Gulf Cup at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium on Wednesday. Iraq got off to a flying start on Sunday when it defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0.The coach, however, said that he is aware of Kuwait's formidable reputation. ''Tomorrow's game against Kuwait is very important as both the teams have three points now. We need to work hard to gain the next three points as we are up against the ten-time champion. We have to think realistically and play for a positive result.''A win against Kuwait will ensure Shakir's team a berth in the semifinals. ''At the moment, it looks like a three-way fight for the semifinal berth between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and us. If we play to our potential, then we deserve to qualify for the next round, though I wouldn't like to underestimate Yemen, which played a good game against Kuwait.''Shakir said that Kuwait is a strong opposition with a team of good players who have had better preparation for the tournament. ''It is a difficult game, but we will deal with them with confidence,'' he said.''To win against Saudi Arabia, one of the top teams in Asia, is an achievement. The Saudis have had better preparation, more funding and better facilities to train than us. We enjoyed the win and will try to work for the happiness of our Iraqi people again.''For Kuwait, Bahrain seems to be a lucky venue. Every time the Blue Brigade has come to Bahrain for the Gulf Cup, it has returned home with the trophy.Three of Kuwait's ten titles have been achieved in Bahrain - in 1970, 1986 and 1998 - but the defending champion's coach knows that the task this time is much more challenging with the next two matches against Iraq and Saudi Arabia (on Saturday).''We picked up three points in the opener against Yemen and we now want to collect another three points against Iraq,'' Kuwait coach Goran Tufegdzic said.''We had good training for the past two days and have prepared a plan to tackle them. Iraq is a stable team and it played a good game to beat Saudi Arabia. The team is in the final round of the World Cup qualifiers and a strong opponent. We know it is going to be difficult, but my players have the ability to achieve a victory.''We have tried to plug the loopholes from the match against Yemen. My players have the motivation and spirits are high.''