FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Expert Picks
The 2018 World Cup is now less than a year away, and we have a little mini preview to look forward to when the Confederations Cup kicks off on Saturday, June 17. This tournament has changed formats a couple of times, and is now traditionally played the year prior to the World Cup in the host country. It features 8 teams made up of the host nation, the current world champion and the 6 confederation winners. The 8 teams are split into two groups, so let’s take a look at each, and then finish things off with a soccer betting prediction.
Winning Predictions For FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017
Russia – This is an opportunity for the hosts to show off the new stadiums that will be used in next year’s World Cup, and while they will have home field advantage throughout, I don’t really see them as a threat to win this tournament.
Portugal – The current European champions will not have Cristiano Ronaldo to start the tournament, but he will be arriving in Russia after a bit of a rest. Portugal have been struggling a little in World Cup qualifying, but should still be considered a threat against this group.
Mexico – The Gold Cup champions have been in great form of late, and have been dominant in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. They will almost certainly be in Russia next year, and this tournament will serve as a good test.
New Zealand – The Oceania Cup winners are playing well in World Cup qualifying, but appear to be up against it versus this group. Probably the best bet to finish at the bottom of Group A.
Germany – The world champions have won all 6 of their qualifying games for Russia, but don’t expect to see their biggest stars at this tournament. They will be using this as an opportunity to give some fringe players a run out.
Cameroon – They are riding on a high after winning the African Cup of Nations, and have a talented squad that could pose some problems for their opponents here. Keep an eye on Christian Bassogog, as the young winger has a chance to make a real mark in this tournament.
Chile – The winners of back to back Copa America tournaments, Chile need to be considered one of the favorites to win here, too. A team blessed with a host of skillful attacking players, they should be a lot of fun to watch.
Australia – The winners of the Asian Cup need to be considered a real longshot to deliver anything here. They will be looking to the seemingly ageless Tim Cahill to provide their scoring threat, which should tell you all you need to know about this group.
I like Portugal and Mexico to emerge from Group A, while I believe Chile and Cameroon will come out of Group B. Let’s go with a final that features Chile and Portugal, assuming Ronaldo arrives in time to make an impact, and I am going to take Chile to hoist the trophy.