2017 Confederations Cup Preview and Betting Tips - Group B

Football
Updated Friday 23rd June 2017, 12:04 PM


With reigning champions Brazil having failed to qualify for this year’s tournament, the Confederations Cup will be heading home with a different nation for the first time since 2003. This competition will allow the footballing world the opportunity to assess a number of teams ahead of next year’s World Cup and determine who will be the players to watch in 12 months’ time. So, with Cameroon, Chile, Australia and world champions Germany making up Group B, Sports.net examines each team’s chances of success.

Group A

Cameroon

  • FIFA Ranking: 32
  • Odds to win: 25/1 - Paddy Power
  • Fixtures: Chile (June 18), Australia (June 22), Germany (June 25)

Cameroon were the final nation to qualify for the Confederations Cup after pulling off an unlikely AFCON victory in February. This was an impressive achievement, especially considering The Indomitable Lions had endured a disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign that saw them dumped out in the group stages without a single point. The Africans have plenty of experience when it comes to playing in this competition though, having taken part in 2001 before reaching the final and finishing as runners-up in 2003 - a year that saw the tragic loss of Marc-Vivien Foe, who collapsed on the pitch during the game with Colombia.

Under the guidance of Hugo Broos, Cameroon have returned after a 14-year absence and will be aiming to spring a few shocks, especially if Vincent Aboubakar can hit the sort of form that saw him finish with ten goals in 23 games for Besiktas last term. However, in a difficult group it is hard to see this side making it over the first hurdle. Verdict: Group Stage Exit.

Chile

  • FIFA Ranking: 4
  • Odds to win: 3/1 - BetVictor
  • Fixtures: Cameroon (June 18), Germany (June 22), Australia  (June 25)

As one of the highest ranked teams at this summer’s tournament, Chile will be expected to reach the latter stages in Russia, although a lack of experience in this competition could hamper the 2015 Copa America champions. La Roja are one of three teams making their Confederations Cup debut and have been struggling for form in qualifying for next season’s World Cup, meaning they could either triumph thanks to beginner’s luck or crumble under the weight of expectation.

The South Americans certainly have plenty of talent at their disposal, with Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez the most notable stars within the team’s ranks. Claudio Bravo proved he was more than a match for the world’s best from the spot, as the goalkeeper twice thwarted Argentina in penalty shootouts in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals; however, a questionable season for Manchester City could have dented his confidence. Positive showings against Cameroon and Australia should be enough to see Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side safely through, while their second game with Germany could be an indicator of how far this team can go in the tournament. Verdict: Winners.

Australia

  • FIFA Ranking: 48
  • Odds to win: 40/1 - William Hill
  • Fixtures: Germany (June 19), Cameroon (June 22), Chile (June 25)

Joining the Asian Football Confederation in 2005 was a stroke of genius from Australian officials. A much stronger level of competition has allowed the Socceroos to up their game, so much so that they even managed to capture the Asia Cup in 2015. Having competed in 1997 (when they finished second to eventual winners Brazil), 2001 and 2005, this will be Oceanian nation’s fourth taste of Confederations Cup football, making them one of the more experience countries in the competition.

However, the so-called golden generation, which featured the likes of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Lucas Neill, are long gone, meaning the Ozzies are unlikely to trouble the latter stages of the tournament, although a tight-knit squad should be capable of putting up a good fight, with their second group game against Cameroon already looking like it could be make-or-break. Despite their recent success, it could be a short stay in Russia for head coach Ange Postecoglou and his boys. Verdict: Group Stage Exit.

Germany

  • FIFA Ranking: 3
  • Odds to win: 9/4 - Sky Bet
  • Fixtures: Australia (June 19), Chile  (June 22), Cameroon (June 25)

In any international tournament, Germany are usually up there with the favourites, and this year is no different. The world champions sit just behind Group A’s Portugal in the betting, although Joachim Low has called into question his side’s ability to succeed with the crop of players he has chosen to take to Russia. Big names such as Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer have been left at home in order to let them return to peak fitness ahead of the new season and, ultimately, next year’s World Cup.

Instead, the Germans will attempt to land their first ever Confederations Cup with a squad that boasts an average age of just over 22. Exciting prospects like Schalke’s Leon Goretzka and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig will be amongst the young players to watch, while Die Mannschaft will hope that the experience of Julian Draxler (23) and Jonas Hector (27) will have what it takes to spark wild celebrations on the streets of Berlin and Munich. However, with such a youthful side, victory might be a little out of reach, with a semi-final exit looking the more likely outcome. Verdict: Semi-Finals.

 

*Please note, odds may fluctuate.


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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2017 12:04:51+00:00
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