How Australia could win the FIFA World Cup

It's going to be tough going for Australia at this World Cup but there is a path to victory for Australia albiet it very narrow.

It must first be said that it is very, very unlikely that the Australians even get close to a World Cup Final let alone win the entire tournament. With a tough group as well as some potentially impossible knockout matches Australia will be lucky to get through to the round of 16.

However, we have seen before that the Socceroos can compete well above the sum of their parts as they did in 2006. Australia might be second to last when it comes to the bookie's thoughts but it is of course not impossible to see how the Australians could go all the way.

Just one win would make this a successful enough campaign for the Aussies however we can always dream about going all the way. The following shows what they would need to do to bring the trophy home.

Australia's best chance of getting through Group D and making it to the knockout stage would be to finish second behind France who is likely to come out on top. However, as seen in recent days France seems to be losing players faster than France has historically waved the white flag.

Apart from France, Denmark is easily the next-best side in group D and will certainly test the Aussies although a win against them isn't impossible. The other team in the group is Tunisia who while ranked 30, the 38th-ranked Australia would be confident of getting a win there.

To get through Group D Australia would want to draw their first match against France, with a win against 4th-ranked France would be extremely unlikely. There is even a path through the group if Australia loses this match although it would want to be a one-goal loss at most.

The Aussie's second match is against Tunisia where Australia would be most likely to win in this tournament. A two-goal victory here is not impossible and would put them in good stead heading into the final match.

The final matches of the group will be played at the same time which means Australia will have to assume France wins the match. Depending on goal difference a draw against Denmark might be enough although a win would seal things for the Socceroos.

However, beating the 10th-ranked side in the world would be a big ask. So overall two draws against the top-ranked teams in the group as well as a win against Tunisia is the most likely way for Australia to get through.

Next up are the knockout stages, and the bad news is there will be no easy win here unless, of course, Saudi Arabia manages a couple of upsets. Australia is set to play the top team of Group C assuming they finish second on the group D table.

This is most likely to be Argentina which has been grouped alongside Poland and Mexico in what will be a dynamic group to watch. Argentina is ranked third in the world so a win there would be almost impossible, especially with Messi who is likely playing his last World Cup and trying to bring home another World Cup.

Australia's best chance would be for Mexico to upset Argentina allowing Poland to do a Bradbury and push past into Number One. Make no mistake, Poland is still a great side but Australia would fancy themselves against them more than Argentina or Mexico.

This would then take Australia through to a semi-final likely against the Dutch who Australia has played well against in the past. It was a 3-2 loss in the 2018 World Cup that saw the Socceroos bow out of that tournament. However Jedinak's side did take a 2-1 lead at one point and if they can pull out that performance again, it may have a different result.

At the semi-final stages, Australia would be most likely to come up against Spain who should be able to get through likely quarter-finalists in Uruguay pretty easily.

While a win against the Dutch is possible, beating Spain would take a minor miracle as would even getting through to this part of the tournament.

Australia would need to rely on its defensive pressure to ideally push for a draw through 90 minutes and take it to penalties where literally anyone can win.

The defence would be key again against likely finalists Brazil who many have as favourites to win this World Cup. Much like Spain, Brazil plays an aggressive and fast-paced game which would certainly test the defence of Australia. Crazier things have happened though and of course, we can always dream.

Most of these results are highly unlikely however we have seen in almost every global tournament in every sport that Australians fight harder than almost every other side in the world.

For a country of just over 26 million in a world with 8 billion people, we have done well to even get to the World Cup when sides like Italy and Scotland are missing completely.

Australia is set to play its first match of the World Cup on the 23rd of November at 6 am AEDT.