Japan, Australia and Jurgen Klinsmann's South Korea will launch their qualifying campaigns on Thursday for the 2026 World Cup, with Palestine also among the 36 teams in action in Asia.

A record eight direct spots and one intercontinental playoff berth are up for grabs for Asian Football Confederation sides at the expanded World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Nine groups of four in the AFC will play each other home and away, with the top two from each going through to the final qualifying round.