The 10th edition of the Confederations Cup will be on this summer in Russia from June 17 to July 2. It’s the preview of the World Cup expected to be held in 2018, also on Russian soil. The tournament has eight teams, representing the FIFA’s six confederations champions.
Portugal will appear as the European Champion, Chile from South America, Mexico from Central and North America, Cameroon from Africa, Australia from Asia and New Zealand from Oceania. Germany also gets a spot for being the current World Champs and Russia as the host nation.
The games will be played in four different stadiums across four cities: Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, and Sochi. The tournament is divided into two groups of four teams each. The first two places of each group will be in the semifinals, and then the last two will play the final on July 2 at the Krestovsky Stadium.
From the eight teams listed to play, only Mexico has won the competition in the past. Russia, Portugal, and Chile will be making their debut. There is a weird stat line for this tournament. Every single winner of the Confederations Cup has failed to have the same success one later in the World Cup.
These are the Soccer Odds to win the 2017 Confederations Cup
It’s not a surprise the best pay per head sportsbook made Germany the favorites to win the 2017 Confederation Cup. They are also the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup after their success in 2014.
Unlike other national teams, Germany has a system in place that allows them to play the same way every time they jump on the field. Let’s start with the fact that they have the same coach since 2006. That’s an 11-year span building a team and putting together a playing idea. Coach Joachim Low has evolved as a coach and Germany grew as a team.
When Low took the team after the 2006 World Cup disappointment, the entire German squad took a direction towards a World Cup title. It took eight years to happen but it. Germany finally won the 2014 World Cup, and that’s why they will be in this tournament as favorites, according to the online bookie software.
Joachim Low playing idea is simple to resume. Germany needs to pressure the opponents when they don’t have the ball and control it when they do. It’s system based on ball possession, multiple passing attacks and lots of movement. Of course, not all teams can do this. But the Germans can.
They took a page or two from FC Barcelona’s book when coach Pep Guardiola was in Cataluña. Low adapted those ideas to a National team, and they got the World Cup trophy. For Low, it was a different challenge than for Guardiola. Low sees his players once or twice every three months. It’s complex to put together an idea when there is very little time to work. But he was able to trust some very skilled players to get to this point.
During the 2014 World Cup, Germany played without a pure striker. They believed in the attacking midfield Thomas Muller to be the man upfront. It paid the right way. The Germans controlled the ball possession during the tournament and displayed one of the best months of soccer the World has even seen.
Of course, it has been three years since that title victory, but the idea is the same. The names, however, have changed a little. Thomas Muller has struggled over the last season and a half with his club Bayern Munich. He’s no longer a striker one can trust.
Veterans like Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Philip Lahm are no longer in the squad. And playmakers like Marco Reus and World Cup hero Mario Götze have had problems staying healthy.
Betting Germany to win the 2018 World Cup is not a gimmick, but they should be fine at the Confederations Cup. This will be the third-time Germany plays the Confederation Cup (1999 and 2005). They have never won this title before.
It’s been close to a year, and I’m not used to calling Portugal the European Champion. Their display in the tournament was mediocre at best, but even so, they lifted the trophy. Because the 2016 European Championship had 24 teams for the first time, it gave Portugal the chance to advance as a third place in the group stage. They actually recorded five straights draws before beating Wales in the semifinals and France in the final. My point is we have seen better teams not winning this tournament. Portugal was lucky.
The bookie software listed them +333 to win the Confederation Cup. It’s a fair number considering there are not big teams in the tournament other than Germany. Amongst all eight teams in the Cup, only the Germans have won the World Cup title. Chile and Portugal reached the semifinals a long time ago, and Mexico and Cameroon haven’t been even close.
Of course, the most important thing for Portugal is to have striker Cristiano Ronaldo healthy. He’s the difference maker on this team. Ronaldo missed the Euro 2016 final due to injury. He will be eager to take his team back to another final and this time play it.
Ronaldo is having another amazing season with Real Madrid. He won the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or, and he looks for another in 2017. Cristiano will be the best player on the field every time Portugal takes the stage in this tournament. But in an eventual final against Germany, he will be overmatched.
Portugal is 25/1 to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to the price per head sportsbook. Currently, there are eight teams with better odds. The Portuguese are not one of the best teams in the World. They are just in the middle. They had a puncher’s chance in the Euro, and they took it. No one is expecting them to have the same success in the Confederations Cup, and let alone in the World Cup.
Portugal has never played in a Confederations Cup before. At this time, Portugal is in second place of the European Qualifiers Group B to get to Russia 2018. After five games, they have recorded 12 points, three fewer than Switzerland, who leads the zone. If the Portuguese end up in second place, they would need a playoff round to get to the World Cup. They are not out of it but could face a huge challenge when they meet the Swiss again.
Chile is perhaps the most dangerous team Germany can face during this Cup. Unlike Portugal, the Germans don’t truly know what the South Americans can present. They haven’t played recently, and there is no measurement to think the Europeans will win handily.
Most people don’t remember, but Chile beat Spain in the 2014 World Cup, eliminating the then World Champs. The Chileans pressured Spain and counterattacked with speed and determination. Spain didn’t know what hit them. When the Spanish tried to answer, it was too late.
That was three years ago. What has happened since then? Chile won the Copa America twice. They hosted the 2015 edition and beat Argentina in the final. People were unsure if Chile had benefited from playing most of the games at home. The pph software didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt when the Centenario Edition was played in 2016 on US soil. Chile won the title again by beating Argentina, once again, via penalty shootouts.
The 2015 Edition of the Copa America was under coach Jorge Sampaoli. Chile played better and more aggressively. They hired Juan Antonio Pizzi to follow the same results as Sampaoli moved to Sevilla. The Chileans have played good games, but consistency has become an issue under the Spanish coach.
The one thing teams can be sure is Chile will fight until the end, and their games will have a crazy pace. Grabbing Chile at +400 at the price per head sportsbook software it’s a good medium bet. This is a team that can win the Cup because they are a bad matchup for either Germany or Portugal.
If they meet Mexico at some point in the path to the final, there will be nightmares for the Aztecas. Chile destroyed Mexico with a 7-0 score in the last meeting at the Copa America Centenario. There are several reasons to like the Chileans.
Like Portugal, Chile will be debuting in the Confederations Cup during the 2017 edition. They are second favorites behind Germany to win Group B. If things happen without any surprises, they should meet the Portuguese in the semifinals. With players like Alexis, Arturo Vidal, and Claudio Bravo, they won’t feel underdogs against anybody.
Russia is perhaps the most difficult team to figure out. The most obvious advantage is they will be playing at home during the entire tournament. Brazil was the host in 2013 and ended up lifting the trophy. A year later things went south ways during the World Cup, but playing in front of their people sure helped.
The Russian are not playing the 2018 World Cup qualifiers as a host nation. It’s hard for them to put together a competitive team when they don’t play for anything. While the rest of the World is playing to qualify, Russia plays to stay in shape. Their approach is different, and for many, it leads to a more complicated road to find a good team.
During the 2014 World Cup, Russia had a disappointing group stage. They failed to win one game, had two draws and lose one match. They scored two goals and allowed three while failing the book making services to prove they were one of the favorites to advance in the group. Belgium, Algeria and South Korea were in the zone.
They failed against in the 2016 Euro in France. They left another big tournament without a win, losing twice and drawing once. Wales, England, and Slovakia performed better in the group.
Stanislav Cherchesov became the head coach the Russian National team after their embarrassing performance. His last club before taking the job as national coach had him coaching Legia Warsaw in Poland. In one season with Legia, he won the Polish professional league and the Polish Cup during 2015-16.
Cherchesov’s number one goal this summer is to show the world they can compete at home. Russia is currently in the 61st spot in the FIFA Rankings. A team like Scotland, who hasn’t been in a World Cup in years, is ahead of them. Uzbekistan is also above. The rankings are flawed, but this also says they are having one of the worst rosters Russia has had in their history.
“I think the final will be Russia vs. Germany. I’ve named Russia as one of the favorites because the host nation always performs extremely well at these tournaments, in front of their own fans and swept along by a surge of optimism on all sides. Even though some Russian supporters don’t have a lot of faith in the success of their national team right now, it is not that important. The Confederations Cup is actually the perfect opportunity to overcome any lack of trust and prove that the Sbornaya will produce worthy displays at both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup”, said Cafú, the Brazilian 2002 World Cup champion.
Mexico surprised many during the second edition of the Confederations Cup in 1999. Not only were they one of the best host nations in the tournament, but they amazed many by winning the Cup over Brazil in the final.
The Mexicans will play in their 6th Confederations Cup. They have dominated the CONCACAF zone for several years, and the number don’t lie. The problem is they received a lot of help to win the last tournament and that had some effect in how the sports bookie software views them.
Mexico leads the CONCACAF Hexagonal with 10 points after four games played. They are the only team undefeated after four fixtures, including three wins and one draw in the games they have participated.
Since coach Juan Carlos Osorio took the job in 2015, Mexico went back to its roots. They started playing fast pace football with good touches up front. They remembered what their identity was and realized they should be better than the rest of the competition in CONCACAF.
“Before all, we wanted to play was attacking and nice football, but sometimes it is difficult because everything is complicated in these kind of away games. The most important thing for us right now is to get points, to get the qualification [to the World Cup] as soon as possible and we are closer today”, said defender Hector Moreno.
For Mexico, the challenge is not to qualified to the World Cup, but to see what they can do once they get there. Since winning the Confederation Cup in 1999, the Mexicans have been in the semifinals once. They have failed to reach the final since 99.
In the World Cup, they can find a way to get to the quarterfinals. They saw Costa Rica do it in Brazil 2014. They missed their opportunity by losing at the last minute to Netherlands. The Mexicans have this challenge against history. But it’s a mental hurdle they have been able to surpass.
With the price per head bookies making them a +1100 to win the title, Mexico is a great long future bet. This team won’t hold back. They have talented players like Chicharito and Andres Guardado. They have a good coach who already established a style. And they have the hunger to be back on top of the Confederations Cup.
Like Portugal’s win in the Euro 2016, Cameroon was a huge surprise in the African’s Nation Cup. There were other teams expected to win. Cameroon was not among them. Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast were the tops teams, but they didn’t perform as expected.
Cameroon found their success playing a solid defensive scheme. They didn’t allow teams to find any holes in the back and played counterattack once they got the ball. That’s the type of soccer teams can carry over during the World Cup of in this case the Confederations Cup.
Manager Hugo Broos is the reason Cameroon had their unexpected success in the African Nations. Broos is a Belgian football manager without an impressive resume. But he has been doing this since 1988 when he coach his first team named R.W.D. Molenbeek
He took Cameroon to win the African trophy for the first time since 2002. His team won three games in the tournament and drew other three. Their most impressive performance came during the semifinals beating Ghana (2-0) and in the final against the favorites Egypt (2-1).
Christian Bassogog was named the player of the tournament. He has 21 years old and plays as a Winger in the Henan Jianye, in the Chinese Super League. The entire story of Cameroon is confusing. This is arguably one of the most limited rosters they have had, but somehow they managed to win the Cup.
Cameroon is listed +2000 to win the Confederations Cup. They are in 33rd place in the FIFA Rankins. They played the 2001 and 2003 edition of the tournament. During the 2003 tournament, they won their group stage and lost in the final to France by a 1-0 score in extra time.
Technically Australia is not in Asia, but they will represent the Asian Confederation as winners of the zone. The Australian felt they didn’t have enough competition in the Oceanic Confederation, so they moved to the Asian region. They were right and had found success in the change.
In 2011, Australia got to the AFC Asian Cup final but ended up as runners up. Once again the price per head sportsbook software made them one of the favorites in 2015. This time they prevailed, showing the world they are one of the best teams in the Eastern part of the world.
The win was the first Asian title by Australia since they joined the Confederation in 2007. During the group stage of 2015, Asian Cup final qualified as the second place, behind South Korea. They beat China PR (2-0) in the quarterfinals and United Arab Emirates (2-0) in the semifinals.
The final had a familiar opponent in the horizon. Australia met South Korea again, but this time with the title in line. The South Koreans won the meeting in the group stage (1-0), but Australia had their payback by winning the final (2-1) during extra time.
Australia will play in a Confederations Cup for the fourth time in their history. During the 1997 edition, they managed to get to the final but were hammered by Brazil with 6-0 score line. In 2001 once again they reached the second round but lost to Japan (1-0) in the semifinal stage. Eventually, they beat Brazil claimed the third place.
The 2005 edition was their worst performance. Australia lost every game in the group stage, scoring five goals and allowing ten. The Australian finished as the team with the most goals against in the tournament. Nevertheless, their unsuccessful run at the 2005 Confederations Cup helped them get better. A year later Australia reached the 2006 World Cup round of 16, losing against Italy on extra time.
Australia is a long shot at +2000 to win the 2017 Confederations Cup, but they have more talent than a team like Cameroon. Their biggest challenge will be facing Chile and Germany. Australia lost to Chile in the 2014 World Cup. It’s going to be a great opportunity to avenge that loss.
New Zealand +10000
Amount the eight teams playing in the tournament; New Zealand is by far the weakest. They didn’t have a soccer tradition and had the easiest path to the tournament. Let’s put this way; they have no shot at the title. The betting software for bookies listed them at +10000 because they needed to put a number. But there is no way they even reach the second round.
This is the fourth time New Zealand plays the Confederations Cup. In 1999, they ended in the last place of the group stage, allowing six goals and scoring just one. In 2003 they had an even worst performance. New Zealand finished last in the group stage scoring one goal as usual but allowing 11.
The last time they reached the Confederations Cup was back in 2009. They drew against Iraq but lost to South Africa and Spain. Once again they finished last but this time with one point. They failed to score a goal in the tournament and allowed seven.
By the number, one can’t expect New Zealand to get on point in the competition. They are far away from the level Portugal and Mexico have. They could be closer to Russia, but seeing the Russians are at home, it’s unrealistic to think New Zealand has a shot.
Remember, they played the easiest confederation on the planet. Australia moved away from this zone because it was too easy. It was actually hurting their chances to get better. New Zealand can’t be trusted. In fact, teams will be rubbing their hands trying to score a lot of goals to them.