Germany have been installed as favourites to win the Confederations Cup after they beat Cameroon top Group B and secure a favourable semi-final draw against Mexico. Chile could only draw with Australia and were left with a nightmare semi-final clash against Portugal, who thrashed New Zealand to win Group A. The four best teams in the competition have all made it through to the knockout stage and we now have two fantastic semi-finals to look forward to. Here we preview both.
Portugal v Chile
These two were made joint favourites for the Confederations Cup once the bookmakers realised that Germany were sending a weakened team bereft of most of its key players. They were expected to contest the final, but the European champions and South America champions will now play for a place in the final after Chile slumped to an unexpected draw against Australia. Chile made five changes for the match but fielded their big guns: Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and Arturo Vidal. It was not enough to secure victory against the spirited Socceroos, and Portugal will now fancy their chances of reaching the final. Player for player Portugal have the better team and should win this one. They play a similar style of game, defending with great intensity and pressing hard, then breaking rapidly up the pitch and relying on the individual talents of a superstar (Ronaldo/Sanchez). But Portugal are the slightly better side and ultimately they should prevail. It might take extra-time though, so Portugal to qualify looks interesting at 1.75 with Boyle Sports.
Germany v Mexico
Mexico have done well to get this far and they have played with great flair and dynamism going forwards. They have left gaps at the back and lost concentration defensively, but they have more than made up for it with the goal scoring prowess, drawing 2-2 with Portugal and beating both New Zealand and Russia 2-1. They finished second in the group due to an inferior goal difference and now face the powerhouse that is Germany. Joachim Low’s side are the favourites to win the World Cup in Russia next summer, after winning the last one in Brazil. They count many of the world’s best players in their ranks, but left them all out for this tournament. In their place we have witnessed Germany’s astonishing strength in depth. These players are barely tested at international level, but they have been arguably the best team in the competition so far. They have full of youthful exuberance and energy, with a great deal of incisiveness and wonderful movement in attack. The defence is yet to gel in the way you expect a German defence to, leaving too many gaps and letting in too many goals, but – like Mexico – they have been outscoring teams and playing with great attacking intent. It should be an exciting open game, with plenty of goals. Both teams to score looks a good bet at 1.74 with 10Bet, as does over 2.5 goals at 1.83, so it makes sense to double up and back both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at 2.15 with Coral. It should be a close game, but you would fancy Germany to win this won. In their last two major competitions, Mexico have taken seven points in the group stage but then folded in the knockout stage, so Germany should take advantage and make their superior quality felt. Germany to win this at 2.10 with Bet365 and various others looks good. For more value you could go for Germany and over 2.5 goals at 3.10 with Stan James. If you feel that is pushing it too far, Germany and over 1.5 goals is 2.50 with the same bookmaker. You can get 2.88 on a Germany v Portugal final at Paddy Power and that looks another interesting bet.