The home side have the edge in Group A and currently sit at the summit of the table, having garnered 16 points from six matches.
Iraq have four points from six games and sit in fifth spot. Anything other than a win will put their hopes of automatic qualification for a second FIFA World Cup appearance in jeopardy.
Iran come into the game full of confidence, having dispatched Syria with a 3-0 win in their last FIFA World Cup qualifier in November.
Iraq were 1-0 victors over Uganda in a friendly fixture to launch the 32,000 capacity Al-Madina Stadium on Friday. Alaa Abdulnai's 17th-minute strike was enough to settle the contest.
Iran vs Iraq Head-to-Head
The two sides have met on 30 occasions in the past and Iran have a vastly superior record with 17 wins to their name. Iraq were victorious on six occasions while seven matches in the past ended in a draw.
Their most recent fixture came in September when Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Mehdi Taremi were among the goals in a 3-0 away victory for Iran.
Iran form guide: W-W-D-W-W
Iraq form guide: W-L-D-D-L
Iran vs Iraq Team News
Mehdi Taremi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh headline the squad to dispute January's FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
A number of players, including captain Ehsan Hajsafi, have been sidelined by COVID-19.
COVID-19: Ehsan Hajsafi, Majid Hosseini, Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh, Mehdi Mehdipour, Sardar Azmoun
Coach Zeljko Petrovic called up 25 players to dispute the games against Iran and Lebanon. Defender Ali Faez had to pull out of the squad due to injury.
Injuries: Ali Faez
Iran vs Iraq Predicted XI
Iran Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alireza Beiranvand (GK); Sadegh Moharrami, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Milad Mohammadi, Omid Noorafkan; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Saeid Ezatolahi, Vahid Amiri; Karim Ansarifard, Mehdi Taremi, Kaveh Rezaei
Iraq Predicted XI (4-4-2): Fahad Talib (GK); Ahmed Ibrahim, Manaf Younis, Mustafa Nadhim, Hassan Raed; Saad Abdul-Amir, Amjad Attwan, Mohammed Ali Abbood, Hussein Ali; Aymen Hussein, Alaa Abbas
Iran vs Iraq Prediction
Iran are favorites and have vastly superior players to their neighbors. Barring an unlikely upset, there should be only one winner here.
Iraq's struggles in attack mean that the hosts are unlikely to be too troubled in defense. Despite missing the services of key players, we are backing Iran to emerge triumphant.
Prediction: Iran 2-0 Iraq