Socceroos coach Graham Arnold understands the pessimism.
But he has utmost faith in his motley crew causing one of the biggest boilovers in World Cup history.
In Australian parlance, the Socceroos are given Buckley's chance of upsetting reigning champions France in their cup opener on Tuesday night (Wednesday 0600 AEDT).
But Arnold says that undersells an Australian trait: ticker.
"I know their mentality, that's the biggest thing," Arnold said of his players.
"They don't step back from anybody, they only know how to look forward and go forward, it doesn't matter who's in front of them.
"And it's not being disrespectful at all but I have hardly mentioned the word 'France' and I have hardly mentioned any of the (French) players' names.
"The players know who they are ... it's 10 blue shirts against 10 yellow shirts and it's a fight."
It's a fight most believe the Australians can't win.
Arnold lost damaging winger Martin Boyle to injury before the tournament began.
His attacking midfield linchpin Ajdin Hrustic isn't fit enough to start against the French.
Captain and goalkeeper Mat Ryan, for two years and particularly recently, has struggled to get consistent club game time.
Ditto for defenders Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles and Nathaniel Atkinson who are all returning from recent injury.
Arnold has a strike-force of A-League frontmen Jamie Maclaren and Jason Cummings, and Mitchell Duke, from Japan's second-tier.
Many French players, among the richest in talent and wealth, spread across the biggest clubs on the globe, have honestly answered questions about the Socceroos: they don't know who they are.
"It's something that is their point of view," Arnold said.
"It's our job to go out there tomorrow and show them who we are as a nation.
"The players have the stage, it's their stage.
"And this is an opportunity that can change their life."
So just how can the Socceroos shock the world with a win at Al Janoub stadium?
First, have faith.
"It's about believing in yourself," Arnold said.
Second, do absolutely everything right.
"Not just one aspect of the game, whether it's defence or attack," Arnold said.
"The opposition is dangerous when they don't have the ball because of how they are in transition with the counter-attack.
"So we really need to make sure every aspect - in defence, rest defence, build-up, attacking - we need to be on our game.
"And we will be."