There is just a little time left before the 2017 Confederations Cup. All the tournament participants are specified, the drawing is carried out. It is time to do preliminary predictions.
The Confederations Cup, on the one hand, is a status and prestigious tournament, and on the other hand, one of prestart stages of the FIFA World Cup. Nevertheless, we have the right to expect from all teams without exception of the maximum intensity and the first eleven game. The Germany football team can become an exception because they can gather 3-4 national teams equal on force.
What differs the tournament in Russia from previous ones? First of all, absence of the Brazil national team which took part in seven Confederations Cups in a row four of which ended with victories of Brazilians. This time Brazil has not managed to get selected for the tournament since they couldn't achieve success neither in the previous World Cup nor the Copа America.
Either we won't see in Russia the Japan national football team which took part in the Confederations Cup five times. After the Australia national team has moved to the Asian Association, it will become much more difficult for the Japanese team to win the Asian Cup and to receive the place in the Confederations Cup.
The tournament in Russia will become debut for three teams at once. For the first time, the teams of Russia (the tournament host country), Chile (the Copa America Winner) and Portugal (the European Championship) will take part in the Cup.
Let`s look at the tournament deals. According to the drawing procedure teams of Russia, Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand go into Group A, teams of Chile, Germany, Australia and Cameroon does Group B.
The names in Group A look less threatening than the names in Group B, but also the semi-final fight is going to be more intense. Look yourself. In Group A there are at once two teams for which the tournament in Russia will become debut, and at the same time, hardly we will see these teams on the following Confederations Cups in years to come. We mean teams of Russia and Portugal. For the tournament hosts it is a unique chance to play at so representative competition and also to show the worthy result — at least two opponents in the group are in the same power (the national teams of Mexico and New Zealand). Besides, the Russians have quite good statistics of home games with Portuguese (a draw and two wins).
The Portuguese with Cristiano Ronaldo may suppose that they get through to the tournament final — in their group they are the real favorite and must leave the group from the first place.
The team of New Zealand looks like the group outsider. It is unlikely that this representative of Oceania will be able to hook at least one point in the tournament. The Mexican team is a traditional secret. We will hardly see the “Aztecs” phenomenal performance, but they are quite capable to get on the favorites` nerves.
So, our Group A predictions as follows. Portugal will surely win the first place in the group having scored 7 or 9 points. The second and third places will be shared by the Russian and Mexico teams. In this duel we will give preference to the hosts of the tournament. The New Zealand team will become the fourth in the group with zero points.
The deal in Group B looks more obvious. In this quartet there are two favorites: the German and Chile national football teams. The World Champions have in their composition 30-40 world players, therefore whoever from the players arrived for the Confederations Cup in the Joachim Low's team, the Germany national team will remain the main favorite of the tournament anyway.
The Chile national team has the best period in its history and is considered the strongest team of South America by right. Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and partners won the Copa America twice in a row. Now the Chileans dream of success on the world scene not unreasonably.
Thus, in Group B we expect two favorites to enter the semi-final. Germany will take the top spot, the national team of Chile will become the second. The teams of Australia and Cameroon will play the third place and will hardly score more than four points for both.
In the semi-final the group winner will surely deal with the second team of Group A, and the match of Chile and Portugal national teams is unpredictable. Nevertheless, our version of the podium looks as follows:
Time will tell correctness of our assumptions. The Confederations Cup starts on June 17 in Saint Petersburg.