Russia got off to a good start at the Confederations Cup tournament, being held in the nation as preparation for next year’s World Cup. The Russians beat New Zealand 2-0 in the competition curtain-raiser, a game that was quickly followed by an entertaining 2-2 draw between Portugal and Mexico.
In the other group Germany ran out 3-2 winners against Australia in a high-scoring encounter, the inexperienced German squad showing they are still a match for international teams. In the same section two late goals from Vargas and Vidal helped Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon – a result that positions them above Germany in group B by virtue of goal difference.
The undoubted highlight of the midweek games is Thursday evening’s match up between Chile and Germany, a game that will go a long way to deciding who will win the group. The other game on Thursday in group B sees the two previous losers Cameroon and Australia go head to head, with both needing a win to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the semi finals.
Germany v Chile
The first recommended bet is a speculative punt on Chile to beat Germany at tempting odds of +161 with Marathonbet.
The bookmaker is standing out by quoting that price, and it’s worth taking bearing in mind the relative results of both sides previous matches. As we highlighted in earlier columns, the German squad that has travelled to Russia is significantly weakened. The likes of Neuer, Ozil, Mueller et al have all been afforded a summer holiday – most likely to aid their preparation for next year’s World Cup. As World Champions Germany can take advantage of that luxury, and this also provides an excellent opportunity for some of the younger and less experienced players to get competitive game time under their belts.
Chile meanwhile, have taken a much stronger squad by comparison in order to attempt a follow-up to their Copa America victory last year. Sanchez, Vidal and Vargas are big players among the Chile contingent, and it’s clear that they are taking this competition seriously. It took until the 81st minute for Vidal to break the deadlock against Cameroon, and Vargas added a second to secure the result in injury-time. However, Chile had 62% of possession and managed 16 attempts at goal. Victory was by no means undeserved.
This should be a highly technical match, but with Chile’s high-pressing style and Germany’s relative lack of know-how, the South Americans are taken to come out on top.
Cameroon v Australia
Australia were only level with Germany for a total of eight minutes during that 3-2 defeat over the weekend. Stindl put the Europeans ahead in the 5th minute, but Rogic drew the Aussies level after 41. Draxler restored Germany’s advantage from the penalty spot three minutes later, and Goretzka added a third shortly after the break. Juric pulled one back for Australia midway through the second half, but Germany held on for what was a relatively comfortable result overall.
Cameroon, fresh from an Africa Cup of Nations triumph earlier this year, gave a good account against Chile. Keeping the free-flowing side out for 80 minutes, but they eventually succumbed to two quick-fire goals in the last ten minutes. Australia present the Africans with a much more winnable game, but we’re happier to take the +105 with BetStars and Marathonbet about there being over 2.5 goals in the match.
Five of Australia’s last ten games have exceeded the goal line, including each of the last three. Cameroon are less known for featuring in high-scoring games, but three of their last six games have also had three or more goals.
The nature of this match also means that both sides are required to go for the win, as they sit third and fourth in the group with zero points. Germany and Chile were always going to be hot favourites to take the top two spots and a place in the semi-finals, but if either of these two teams are to beat them to it, three points here are a must. That should lead to an open game and over 2.5 goals looks a very good bet at just over even odds.
Chile to beat Germany
Thursday 22nd June, 19:00 GMT
Cameroon v Australia – Over 2.5 Goals
Thursday 22nd June, 16:00 GMT