The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup begins this coming weekend, as eight national sides from around the globe battle for top honours in Russia. With so much talent on display in the tournament, a strong performance early in the group stage will be critical to success.
2017 Confederations Cup: Group B Preview
The previous edition of the Confederations Cup saw hosts Brazil lift the trophy on the final day, and Group B will try to keep Russia from the opportunity of repeating that triumph.
Cameroon are a national team in transition, but that has not kept the Indomitable Lions from enjoying success. Cameroon captured their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 2002 with a victory over Egypt this past February.
The nation’s history in the Confederations Cup is unfortunately remembered for both tragedy and strong play. In 2003 en route to a runners-up performance, midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed during the semi-final and was pronounced dead only hours later. Expect to see poignant tributes to a beloved former player at this year’s competition.
Germany and Chile may be the favourites to advance from the group, but talent and pace from the likes of striker Vincent Aboubaker give Cameroon the ability to surprise more than a few this summer.
Chile have been an unstoppable force over the past two years, as La Roja captured Copa America titles in both 2015 and 2016. Manager Juan Antonio Pizzi looks to keep this run alive, with a third consecutive title for the country this summer in Russia.
Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal bring world-class talent, and Chile have the skill to defeat any other squad in the competition.
One of the tournament’s most anticipated fixtures will take place on June 22, when Chile face Germany. Group B’s winner will likely be determined from that match in Kazan.
Australia enter the Confederations Cup for the third time, but it will be the Socceroos’ first appearance representing the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Manager Ange Postecoglou’s side earned their place in Russia with their triumph on home soil at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The nation’s all-time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill leads a tough and spirited line-up, and Australia will need to be at their best to earn any positive results in a difficult group.
A part of the Asian Football Confederation since 2005, this summer will be a unique and historic moment for Australia at this summer’s Confederations Cup.
The world champions come into the tournament tipped by many to be victorious, even if they are not bringing all of the nation’s best players. Germany and manager Joachim Low begin the Confederations Cup against Australia in Sochi on June 19.
The youth will be crucial for Die Mannschaft, as players like Joshua Kimmich, Julian Draxler and Timo Werner will be expected to contribute greatly in the group stage.
This will be Germany’s third appearance at the Confederations Cup, and anything less than the final would be considered a massive disappointment.