Thu, Jun 15, 4:21pm by Bren O'Brien
Germany may have opted to take an inexperienced squad to the Confederations Cup, which starts in Russia this weekend, but that hasn’t stopped the World Cup champions from being installed as $3.30 equal favourites to win the tournament.
Opting to leave the likes of Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Mats Hummels Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller at home, coach Joachim Low has opted for seven uncapped players for the Germans, who face Australia, Chile and Cameroon in their Group.
Low is using the tournament as an opportunity to test his options head of next year’s defence of the title they won in Brazil in 2014.
But bookmakers aren’t expecting the inexperienced Germans to be any easier task for Australia, with the Socceroos priced as $7.50 outsiders in next Tuesday morning’s match. Germany are $1.40 favourites and the draw is $4.50.
WATCH: Our Preview of the Confederations Cup
Australia comes off a 4-0 friendly drubbing by Brazil in Melbourne this week and are without captain Mile Jedinak and Brad Smith for the tournament. With the Aussies locked in a dog-fight to gain direct qualification for the next World Cup, coach Ange Postecoglou will use the Confederations Cup to ready his team for the two crucial qualifiers against Japan and Thailand in the coming months.
There is no doubt Australia drew the tougher of the two groups, with South American champions Chile and African champions Cameroon.
Chile’s squad is headlined by Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez and is close to full strength. They qualified for this tournament by winning the 2016 Copa America on penalties over Argentina.
Cameroon’s path to Russia was through the African Nations Cup back in January, where they beat Egypt. The African nation is re-emerging as a power of African football after a decade long lull but were thrashed 4-0 in their warm-up match against Colombia earlier this week.
Euro 2016 champions Portugal are the other joint favourites in a decidedly soft Group A. Cristiano Ronaldo’s men are $3.30 to win the tournament and $1.80 to win the group, which seems pretty good odds when you consider Russia are sending an inexperienced team, there are queries about Mexico, while Oceania champs New Zealand make up the group.
The fact Portugal could afford to leave players of the quality of Eder and Renata Sanches at home tells you all you need to know about the quality of their squad.
The likelihood they will finish top of their group, with Mexico second leaves us with a likely clash between Germany and Portugal in the semis. Portugal haven’t beaten Germany in a competitive match since 2000, so you’d favour the Germans there.
That leaves us with Mexico v Chile in the other semi. The last time they met, 12 months ago in the Copa America Centenario, Chile won 7-0.
With that in mind, we’re happy to be on Chile to win the tournament at $3.75 and become the first team apart from Brazil or France to win the tournament this century.
Confederations Cup Winner
New Zealand $276
Confederations Cup Final
Group B Winner
Group A Winner
New Zealand $101
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