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Iraq v Australia World Cup Qualifier Tips and Preview - Socceroos bid for key win

Gary Emmerson 21 Mar 2017
  • The Socceroos visit Tehran to take on Iraq
  • Australia need a win to jump back into the top two spots
  • Iraq must win to keep their qualification hopes alive
Massimo Luongo of Australia is chased by Dhurgham Ismael of Iraq

The Socceroos will bid to take a step closer to the 2018 World Cup when they take on Iraq at Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium in Tehran in their latest qualifier on Thursday.

Ange Postecoglou's Australia side can boost their chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia when they take on Iraq in Tehran on Thursday.

The Socceroos are one of four sides separated by just one point at the top of Group B, and the showdown with Iraq presents them with the chance to gain the upper hand with four games remaining after the trip to Tehran.

Just two sides will progress from the group and Australia, who sit in third spot - a point behind Saudi Arabia and Japan and ahead of the UAE on goal difference, will hoping to take a leap towards Russia with a positive result in Iraq, who are ranked 67 places lower.

It was a 2-0 win for Australia in Perth when they two sides met in the opening group game and Iraq have struggled since, picking up just three points from five games. They now need a result against the Socceroos to keep their qualification hopes alive.

The Iraqis did win their last home qualifier 4-0 against Thailand, but have since been beaten 2-0 on the road by the United Arab Emirates.

Australia, meanwhile, will be hoping to end a run of three successive draws against Saudi Arabia, Japan and Thailand which has seen them drop to third on the ladder.

Stats


  • Australia are the only unbeaten team in the group with two wins and three draws
  • Iraq have won one and lost four of their five games
  • The Socceroos won 2-0 when the two sides met in Perth

Team News


Danny Vukovic, Riley McGree, Rhyan Grant and Musti Amini have been called into the Socceroos squad for the first time, while Nathan Burns returns to the 23-man after an injury to midfielder Jimmy Jeggo denied him his first call-up. Aziz Behich, Mitch Langerak, James Troisi and Rhys Williams have also been named in the squad after being overlooked in recent times.

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Iraq v Australia World Cup Qualifier Tips and Preview - Socceroos bid for key win

The Socceroos will bid to take a step closer to the 2018 World Cup when they take on Iraq at Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium in Tehran in their latest qualifier on Thursday.

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