The Confederation Cup is a tournament where the host team traditionally performs very well, but it’s fair to say that Russia is going to need a huge performance in their final game of Group A if they are to match the current FIFA odds in regards to their predecessors. The Russians are not being particularly impressive in recent tournaments, so they come into this one with expectations seriously low. It certainly did not help that they were placed in group that also featured the European champions, as well as a Mexico team that is always tough to beat. With one game left in Group play, Russia holds their destiny in their own hands, which is all that you can really ask for at this stage of the proceedings. The final game of the group stages for the hosts will come against a Mexico team that is in a bit of a quandary at the moment. They have barely escaped their opening two games with anything to show for it, but they know that a draw in this one will be enough to see them move on to the semi-final. While some teams came to this tournament with the idea of trying out some fringe players, the Mexicans came to win, so expect to see them go all out for the win in the final game. The other game in this group, which sees Portugal go up against New Zealand, looks to be a foregone conclusion, which means that only one spot is available. The winner of this one will take that spot, and it would be a major coup if the host nation could somehow find a way to topple Mexico and take a step into the final four.
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