2017 FIFA Confederations Cup - Predictions

Who will win the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup? Who will advance past the group stage? Our research staff offers predictions and analysis. The 2017 Confederations Cup is scheduled for June 17 through July 2 in Russia. 

⚽Group Stage Predictions

Group A 

This group is expected to be competitive with three strong contenders for only two spots in the semifinals. Russia has the home-court advantage, but its recent record at major international tournaments has been shoddy at best. Other than a third-place effort at Euro 2008, the Russians have failed to advance past the group stage at the Euro and World Cup. Still, home teams at the Confederations Cup have reached the semifinals six out of the seven editions played. Inaugural host Saudi Arabia was the only one who did not make it. 

Portugal is the reigning European champion, but there is no fear factor with this squad (unlike Germany or Spain in past years). However, they expect to get a boost from in-form Cristiano Ronaldo who just helped Real Madrid win back-to-back Champions League. Mexico has a lot of good history with the Confederations Cup, having won it in 1999 and reached two other semifinals. They may very well have another strong run this year. 

Prediction: Mexico wins the group; Russia grabs the second spot.

Group B

One thing Germany has been very good at is to win its group at major international tournaments. Even with a weakened squad, we expect the trend to continue at the Confederations Cup. This leaves the other three teams competing for the second spot. Highly talented Chile is the clear favorite, but both Cameroon and Australia are capable of pulling off the upset. The Indomitable Lions beat a plethora of strong teams to win the coveted African Nations Cup, so they will be a formidable side. The Aussies are coming off a crucial World Cup qualifying win against Saudi Arabia. The much needed victory should give Australia a big moral boost before the Confederations Cup. 

Prediction: Germany wins; Cameroon reaches the knockout stage.

🏆Final Prediction

Winner: Russia. It's sad to see but this year's Confederations Cup features an underwhelming group of champions. Chile is a fine team but most people would prefer Brazil or Argentina. Even with Ronaldo, Portugal is pale in comparison (talent-wise) to the likes of France, Italy or Spain. World champion Germany is the favorite, but at least seven regular starters including Ozil, Muller and Kroos have been omitted from the squad. This leaves the door wide open for an unexpected champion. We believe Russia is that team. The host is predicted to barely advance out of the group stage, but it does not mean they would not win the whole thing. Host teams have enjoyed great success at the Confederations Cup and it is for a good reason. Most of the top-tier teams are not motivated to win this tournament (frequently opting to field a weakened squad), unless it is on their home soil. Russia should be able to take advantage of that fact and possibly spring upsets over the top favorites.

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