Australia are almost certain to be heading home before the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup but can put on a show in their final group game against Portugal in Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

Sympathy is in short supply for Eddie Jones. However, Lady Luck almost blessed the Australia boss on Saturday as Georgia pushed Pool C rivals Fiji all the way, only for the Pacific Islanders to prevail 17-12.

The numbers since Jones returned for his second spell in charge of the Wallabies are stark, recording seven defeats in eight games. After their 22-15 reverse against Fiji and 40-6 loss to Wales, the two-time champions look to be heading out in the pools for the first time in World Cup history, with only a rugby miracle when Sunday’s opponents face Fiji next weekend able to save them.

Portugal are making just their second appearance at the tournament but have impressed, pushing Wales 28-8 and then missing the chance to beat Georgia, failing to slot a penalty with the final kick of the match to draw 18-18.

Jones’ prickly demeanour means even sections of the Australian media would welcome the most significant shock in Rugby World Cup history in Os Lobos winning on Sunday.

That is unlikely and his team can provide their coach with some brief joy before a frustrating week of hanging around and waiting for the results to come in before more than likely heading home.

Australia vs Portugal Prediction Betting Tips

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Prop Jame Slipper is set to surpass George Gregan by becoming the Australian with the most World Cup appearances when he runs out at the tournament for the 21st time.

Slipper’s 134th cap also means he moves closer to the former scrum-half’s Wallaby record of 139 caps, while he also equals Wales and British and Irish Lions international Gethin Jenkins as the most-capped prop in Test history.

Australia have named a new-look midfield, with Izaia Perese partnering Lalakai Foketi and they will play outside fellow Waratah Ben Donaldson, who continues at number 10.

Portugal have made four changes, all of them in the pack. David Costa starts at loosehead prop, with Martim Belo coming in at lock.

David Wallis will run on at blindside and Thibault de Freitas is in at number eight, with both players making their first starts of the tournament.

Australia -28.5 @ 21/20

The Wallabies’ issues have been down to both failings up front and a lack of fluidity in the backs.

However, they looked sharp in their opening 35-15 victory over Georgia and Jones may rip up his restrictive gameplan for their final outing in Saint-Etienne, especially as they need a bonus point to prolong their fading hopes of progress.

While cheekier pundits might be backing a Portugal win, that looks unrealistic and Australia should get home with plenty to spare.

David Porecki and Matt Faessler both anytime tryscorers @ (£1 double returns £3.17 at current odds)

Hookers scoring tries has been a feature of the ongoing Rugby World Cup and both Wales’ Dewi Lake and Georgia’s Tengiz Zamtaradze have driven over against the Portuguese.

A rare bright spot for Australia has been the strength of their lineout, with Nick Frost especially sharp and after being second-best against Fiji and Wales, their forwards have a point to prove.

Stand-in captain David Porecki has worked hard with little reward this tournament but could force his way over, as could hooking understudy Matt Faessler, who played the final 20 minutes against Wales and will also be looking to go out with a bang. 

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