England will need to bat for the whole of the fifth day to save the final Ashes Test after finishing 210 runs behind Australia at stumps on day four at the SCG in Sydney on Sunday, 7 January.
The tourists reached 93-4 at the close after Australia declared on a mammoth total of 649-7.
Shaun Marsh, who resumed on an overnight score of 98, went on to reach 156 before he was run out by Mark Stoneman.
At the other end, his younger brother Mitchell made a quick fire 101 to effectively bat the tourists out of the contest on a scorching hot day in Sydney.
England, who only managed to pick up two wickets in the entirety of the third day, were already trailing Australia by 133 when play resumed on day four.
The Marsh brothers put on 169 to virtually put the match out of the tourists' reach, before contributions from Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins extended Australia's advantage even further.
England's woes deepened after openers Stoneman and Alastair Cook were removed in quick succession by Starc and Nathan Lyon, respectively.
James Vince then edged Cummins to first slip while Dawid Malan was trapped lbw by Lyon as Australia threatened to wrap up a crushing innings victory inside four days.
However, captain Joe Root (42 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (17 not out) offered dogged resistance to ensure the match will go to a fifth day.
Australia have already regained the Ashes and hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace insisted that his team could bat through day five to save the Test and salvage some pride on what has been a chastening tour Down Under.
"Of course we can [save the Test]," he told BBC Test Match Special. "There's absolutely no point coming tomorrow if you don't believe that.
"If you don't, you're in a tough position as a team. Our belief is we can get through tomorrow and get something out of the game."