One month to go till crunch match with Thais

A month to the day until the Caltex Socceroos play arguably their most important home game since the 2015 Asian Cup final.


At first glance, the Thailand tie on September 5 in Melbourne might not jump out.

But its importance is unquestionable.

Quite simply, the Caltex Socceroos must win the game.

And if they do, they may punch their ticket for the big one, the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

Five days earlier Australia meets group leaders Japan in Saitama.

Why these are two massive games for Australia

A win – or even a draw – will go a long way towards securing an all-important top two spot in the qualifying group.

But it won't be enough by itself.

Australia also needs to step up on "Thai Tuesday" at AAMI Park. And it won't be easy.

Thai dossier: new coach tightens defence

When the two sides met in Bangkok in November, two Mile Jedinak penalties earned the Caltex Socceroos a hard-fought point.

This time, only three points will do.

The last time Australia played a World Cup qualifier at home, they were roared on by 30-000 fans at the Adelaide Oval.

Tomi Juric grabbed a brace and Tommy Rogic scored a wonder-goal in a 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia.

A packed house in Melbourne could be enough to get them across the line again.

It may also seal their spot at The Big Show in 2018.

Irvine, Cahill, Juric, Rogic and all the others will be there.

Aussie fans rally ahead of Sept 5 in Melbourne

Will you?