Verdict: HT/FT Germany
Best Odds: 21/20
Reigning World Cup champions kick off their 2017 Confederations Cup campaign with a clash against the team which is considered an outsider in Group B. The Asian Football Confederations (AFC) champions Australia face a daunting challenge against the world’s power force.
Having been pitted against the likes of current World Cup champions Germany, 2016 Copa America winners Chile and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations holders Cameroon, Australia face a tough task when it comes to finishing within the top two spots in Group B of the 2017 Confederations Cup. Head coach Ange Postecoglou has been a major impact on Australia national team with his dedicated approach and rigorous work rate. Australia arrived to Russia on the back of their 3-2 World Cup qualifying triumph over Saudi Arabia, which provided Australia with a last-gasp lifeline in their chase for the automatic promotion to 2018 FIFA World Cup. The 2017 Confederations Cup therefore presented itself as an important test for the Kangaroos ahead of the crucial Japan qualifier that awaits after the summer. Australia might be considered outsiders in the group, but they are definitely the team capable of pulling a surprise with their attack-oriented style of play.
Inter Milan defender Trent Sainsbury and well-known names of Mile Jedinak and Aaron Mooy are in line for starting berths.
The experienced striker Tim Cahill is still of great value for the team, while Celtic star Tom Rogic will provide great support in the front line.
Russian edition of the Confederations Cup is the third time Germany are participating in this competition. Joachim Loew’s world champions have arrived to Russia with an experimental squad but with the same desire and aspirations. Loew looks at the Confederations Cup as a spring board for the main event next year in the very same country – Russia – when his team is hoping to do the impossible and defend the World Cup title. Confederations Cup is a test run for the big event and will provide Germany head coach with a valuable input on the quality and ability of a number of players that wouldn’t have gotten their chance to shine otherwise. Joachim Loew announced his squad together with the Germany U21 head coach Stefan Kuntz, when it was revealed that the senior squad manager allowed his colleague to collect a couple of players that could have been given prominent roles in Russia and take them to Poland instead, where U21s side will fight at the European Championship. The likes of Jonathan Tah, Max Meyer, Maximilian Arnold, Mahmoud Dahoud, Mitchell Weiser and the latest Bayern Munich signing Serge Gnabry therefore all miss out.
In addition to a couple of prominent U21 absentees, Joachim Loew will be without several first-team stars such as Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Marco Reus who have all been given time to rest and nurture their injury problems which troubled them last season.
Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller are another two highly notable omissions.
Key Factors to Consider
Australia lost only one of their last nine matches in all competitions
Kangaroos kept a clean sheet in only one of their last seven games
Germany won 13 of their last 17 matches across competitions
Loew’s men scored 12 goals in their last three matches
Australia only defeated Germany once in their history
Despite the fact Joachim Loew brought an experimental squad to Russia, Germany remains one of the biggest favourites to win the tournament, let least beat Australia. The Kangaroos are sure to put up a fight against the current world champions and they are not expected to budge, but Germany are simply too strong.
Verdict: HT/FT Germany
Best Odds: 21/20
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