2017 FIFA Confederations Cup – Group B Preview and Predictions

Group B of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in Moscow on Sunday night as African Champions Cameroon take on Copa America Winners Chile. Both of those sides will be keen to get points on the board ahead of Germany and Australia’s clash in Sochi on Monday night.

Current world champions Germany have only appeared in this event twice before and have yet to make it to the final. However, that is expected to change this year. The Germans have lost just one of their last 17 matches (against France) and warmed up for this with a 7-0 hammering of San Marino in last week’s World Cup qualifying match.

German Head Coach Joachim Low may have to lean on some of his younger players during the group stages but as he proved in Brazil in 2014, he has good form when it comes to tournament management. Expect the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Julian Draxler and Timo Werner to have a strong influence during the group stages.

Unlike Germany, Australia have previously featured in a Confederations Cup final, losing to Brazil in the 1997 edition. The Socceroos have featured in two more tournaments since, securing third place in 2001 (gaining revenge on Brazil in the process) before crashing out at the group stage in 2005.

The Aussies won the OFC Nations Cups four times before switching to the Asian Confederation. They won the Asia Cup in 2015, a victory that confirmed their place in this event. Veteran striker Tim Cahill will once again try to shoot his side to victory, while highly rated Valencia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan will attempt to shut out the opposition at the other end.

In 2015, Chile won their first ever Copa America title to secure their place in this summer’s event in Russia. They followed that up with another Copa America win in 2016 and, despite being tournament debutants, can now be considered as serious contenders for the title.

Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal are the standout names in a seriously talented squad, and both are capable of terrorising any defence on their day.

Cameroon were the last team from Group B to qualify for this event following their Africa Cup of Nations triumph earlier this year. That was their first AFCON title since 2002 and gave a hint that the Indomitable Lions are returning as a force on the world stage.

This tournament holds some tragic significance for the African side as it was during the 2003 semi-final that midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe lost his life after collapsing on the pitch.

With Germany and Chile also in Group B, Cameroon have a tough job on their hands but they do have some fantastic talent at their disposal are capable of causing an upset. What’s more, this is a young squad in transition with 13 of the 23-man squad aged 25 or under.

Group B Prediction:

Back Germany to win the group at 6/5 with and Chile to qualify at 17/10 both with Betfair.

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