Socceroos gearing up for Iraq showdown

Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury predicts Thursday night's clash with Iraq will be the most important match of Australia's World Cup qualifying campaign.

Australia are hot favourites to beat Iraq in the first match of the final stage of the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and UAE in Australia's group.