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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

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Oct 15, 2012

It's crunch time for Socceroos: Emerton

It's not do or die, but overlooked Socceroo midfielder Brett Emerton says victory over Iraq in Wednesday morning's World Cup qualifier will simplify the path to Brazil 2014.

Australia go into the Doha match third in Group B, level with their opponents Iraq on two points and two points adrift of Jordan.

If Jordan defeat Oman and the Socceroos fall to Iraq, Australia could find themselves five points away from an automatic qualification spot with just four matches remaining.

A win however would keep them very much in touch, and Emerton - who wasn't named in the squad to play Iraq - said the pressure was on Australia to get all three points.

"There is a lot of pressure. It's a big game for us, it really is," Emerton told AAP.

"If we can get all three points then it changes everything for us - the qualifying process becomes a lot simpler."

The Socceroos will finish the qualification phase with three out of their last four matches at home next year.

Their only clash away is against Japan in June, leaving Emerton to feel it wasn't dire straits just yet.

"Obviously with all the home games we have ahead of us, you couldn't really see us not qualifying but, if we lose the game on Wednesday morning, then it's a very different kettle of fish," Emerton said.

"So it is an important game for us. It's not do-or-die at this stage but it's pretty close so we need to really put in a good performance against Iraq."

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