With the 2018 World Cup starting to come into focus, the Confederations Cup this summer will offer a pre-cursor to football’s biggest tournament.
While the competition in Russia will act as a miniature dry run for next year’s main event, it will also offer eight teams the chance to pick up some competitive action and consider where their preparations sit.
The Confederations Cup pits the respective champions of the continents against one another and there are a huge range of welcome offers for those eager to have a bet on the competition.
World champions Germany are understandably the competition favourites, with Joachim Low’s men still riding on the crest of a wave after ultimate glory in Brazil back in 2014.
The European powerhouses have a team full of global stars that play at the biggest clubs in the game, while an elite generation of youngsters are coming through the ranks to compete for starting berths in the team.
Germany are favourites to add the Confederations Cup to their World Cup success at short odds of 5/2.
Copa America winners Chile and Euro 2016 champions Portugal will be the closest competitors to Low’s men, with both coming in at odds of around 10/3.
With Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly set to play a role in the competition in Russia, Fernando Santos’ men will take some stopping. The Real Madrid superstar has played a critical role in his club’s amazing double success in 2016-17 and is a worthy holder of the Ballon d’Or.
Chile have their own superstar in the form of Alexis Sanchez, but it is the South American outfit’s togetherness that comprises their greatest attribute.
Both of these sides could beat Germany on their day, in what could be mouth-watering knockout fixtures.
Russia’s poor showing at Euro 2016 means that the hosts are at relatively long odds of 9/1, with the eastern European nation keen to build some pride around the national team before the World Cup. With no qualifiers to play over the next 12 months, the Confederations Cup will offer some valuable competitive action for a team that needs to improve and meet its potential.
Mexico could cause an upset on their day but the bookmakers do not overly fancy North America’s top team of doing so at odds of 11/1.
Meanwhile Cameroon (25/1), Australia (55/1) and New Zealand (500/1) will use the competition for experience and are expected to be eliminated from their respective groups.