Sport Football Socceroos receive the ultimate insult in World Cup prediction
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Socceroos receive the ultimate insult in World Cup prediction

Australia World Cup
Australia sit 40th in the FIFA world rankings. Photo: Getty
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Even the most optimistic Socceroos fan could not see the team winning the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.

But Italy – who have not even qualified for sport’s biggest event – are considered a better chance of winning it than Australia, according to investment bank UBS.

UBS predicted the entire World Cup, with a team of analysts running 10,000 simulations of the much anticipated tournament.

Germany was the most likely winner, triumphing in 24 per cent of the simulations, but the real insult for Australia fans surrounded Italy.

Italy lost a play-off to Sweden to miss out on the tournament but were bizarrely included in the simulation because of the “international focus” on its absence.

“In its current form, Italy is roughly at par with Mexico. Hence, even if Italy managed to end the group stage competition in second place behind Germany, Brazil would likely await them in the round of 16,” the analysts found.

“And that, we fear, would be the end of the road for the Azzurri. We hope to see Italy four years from now.

“The tournament doesn’t seem quite the same without them.”

Australia’s chances of winning the World Cup were rated as 0.1 per cent, the same as Group C opponents Denmark, Morocco and Japan.

Below them are five teams – Egypt, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia and Panama – all given no chance of winning the tournament.

It isn’t all bad

The news is better for Bert van Marwijk’s side when it comes to getting out of its group, with UBS giving Australia an 11.3 per cent chance of topping a difficult group that also includes France and Peru.

And that number rises to 22.2 per cent when it comes to getting out of the group and reaching the final 16.

The numbers dwindle from there, with Australia’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals, semi-final and final rated at 12 per cent, 3.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

The top five chances of winning in Russia are Germany (24 per cent), Brazil (19.8 per cent), Spain (16.1 per cent), England (8.5 per cent) and France (7.3 per cent).

Australia’s World Cup campaign begins on June 16 against France.

Matches against Denmark (June 21) and Peru (June 27) follow as Australia aims to progress through the group stage for just the second time.

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