Australia has beaten Japan and drawn with Croatia to qualify for the second round of the World Cup finals, and already the newspapers are looking past the minor hurdle of Italy towards Australia’s chances in the quarter-finals – pointing out that, assuming 28th-seed Australia beats Italy, then the quarter-finals will be a lot easier, against either 25th-seed Switzerland or 26th-seed The Ukraine.

Now, that’s all well and good, but there still remains the little matter of Italy.

But then, from the tone of the papers a week ago, Australia were favourites to beat Brazil, citing advantages such as Australia’s underdog status…

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