Socceroos rated less of a chance than Italy to win 2018 World Cup

Gianluigi Buffon Tim Cahill
The odds don't appear to be in Australia's favour but Italy have been handed a strange lifeline

The Azzurri haven't even qualified for Russia, but that hasn't stopped the Italians being given a greater chance of winning the 2018 World Cup than Australia

Investment bank UBS are responsible for the bizarre odds with their analysts running 10,000 simulations of the event to determine the likelihood each nation has of winning it.

While 2014 winners Germany topped their list with a 24 percent chance of defending their World Cup crown, with Brazil and Spain sitting behind them, Italy sit 12th on the list with odds of 1.6 percent to win a tournament they won't even be participating in.

Missing out on World Cup qualification after losing a play-off to Sweden, the Azzuri were included in a separate UBS's simulation in place of Sweden as a 'tribute' for the four-time winners.

"There are many teams which will be missed in Russia, but none more so than Italy," UBS's report read.

"Given the international focus on Italy’s absence after the Swedes defeated Gli Azzurri in a dramatic showdown in late 2017, we simulate another competition, including Italy instead of Sweden.

"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. And that, we fear, would be the end of the road for the Azzurri."

Gianluigi Buffon Italy Sweden

Their eventually still quite remote odds of winning the tournament inevitably dwarfed those given to the Socceroos, who after thousands of simulated tournaments stand a 0.1 percent chance of winning the 2018 World Cup.

In slightly better news for Australia, UBS has given the green and gold a 22.2 percent chance of finishing second in a difficult group featuring Denmark, France and Peru.

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The odds of winning the tournament overall could have been a lot worse for the Socceroos too with Costa Rica, Egypt, Panama, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia given exactly a zero percent chance of winning the 2018 World Cup. 

Check out the full odds below.

UBS screenshot