The 2017 Confederations Cup gets underway in Russia on Sunday morning and Australia are back in the tournament for the first time since 2005.
The Socceroos have had a fair amount of success in the Confederations Cup – they finished second in 1997 and third in 2001 – but they have drawn the Group Of Death for this tournament and will square off with World Champions Germany, Copa America winners Chile and African Cup Of Nations winners Cameroon.
16 games are set to be played over the next fortnight and we will be providing betting plays for every single game – our complete 2017 Confederations Cup tips can be found below!
Sunday 18 June, 1:00am, Saint Petersburg Stadium
This is far from the blockbuster that we normally get to start major football tournaments.
Russia will go into this clash as clear favourites and they have actually played some solid football during 2017 to date.
The Russians were criticised for their negative style of football during Euro 2016 and they have opened up somewhat in 2017.
They played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Belgium in March and recorded an impressive 3-0 win over Hungary last month before drawing 1-1 with Chile.
Russia need to make a strong start to this tournament in order to ensure that there is at least some interest and they will know that nothing short of three points will be good enough from this clash.
This is far from a vintage New Zealand outfit and scoring goals has proven to be a massive problem.
They went down to both Northern Ireland and Belarus 1-0 last month and that really does not bode well for their chances in this tournament.
It really is tough to see how New Zealand can find the back of the net and Russia should be able to start their tournament with a comfortable win.
Back Russia To Win To Nil @ $1.91
Monday 19 June, 1:00am, Kazan Arena
This will be one of the most interesting game of the pool stages and the winner of this clash will likely finish on top of Group A.
Portugal secured their place in the Confederations Cup with their surprise win at Euro 2016 and it is fair to say that they did not play overly impressive football throughout that tournament.
Their recent form in World Cup qualifying has been strong and finding the back of the net has not been an issue, but their defence has been a touch shakey at times – especially when they have faced the best teams in their group like Sweden and Switzerland.
Mexico have been their usual consistent selves during 2017 to date and they have not lost a World Cup Qualifier this year – beating Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras before they drew with the United States last weekend.
There is every indication that Mexico are taking this tournament very seriously and their squad is packed full of talent, which has allayed fears they must focus their efforts on the upcoming CONCAFAF Gold Cup.
Mexico have lost only two of their past 36 games and they really do represent the value in this clash.
Back Mexico To Win @ $3.60 & Score Draw @ $4.50
Monday 19 June, 4:00am, Spartak Stadium
There is an argument to be made that this may be the most entertaining game of the first round of pool games.
Chile upstaged Argentina to win the Copa America earlier this year, but their recent form has not been anything to write home about.
Qualification for the 2017 World Cup is no certainty following their defeat at the hands of Argentina in March and they were far from convincing in their most recent friendlies against Russia and Romania.
Cameroon won the African Cup Of Nations without being overly impressive earlier this year and it is fair to say that their recent form has been putrid.
They did beat Morocco in June, but they were flogged by Colombia last month and beaten by Guinea earlier in the year.
This Chile side do look to have far more upside than Cameroon and it would not surprise to see them go to another level during the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Back Chile To Win To Nil @ $2.50
Tuesday 20 June, 1:00am, Fisht Stadium
Germany have taken an under-strength side into the Confederations Cup, but they are still dominant favourites to start their tournament with a win over Australia.
The Germans were a touch disappointing during Euro 2016, but their recent form has been strong and they have cruised through their Group in UEFA 2018 World Cup qualification in typically easy fashion.
They may not go into this tournament with a full-strength side, but have a stack of young, talented players that are looking to press for selection in their squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Australia’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup are still on a knife-edge and Ange Postecoglou’s experiment with a 3-4-3 has not been a particularly successful one.
The loss of Mile Jedinak due to injury is a massive one for Australia as he really exposes the defence that has struggled over the past six months.
Australia were comprehensively outplayed by Brazil in their final friendly before heading to Russia and they have kept just the one clean sheet in their past seven games.
I do think that Australia have the quality to get on the scoresheet in this clash, but there are a number of scenarios where Germany absolutely run riot over the Socceroos defence.
Both Teams To Score And Germany To Win @ $3
Thursday 22 June, 1:00am, Spartak Stadium
Portugal were a touch unlucky not to come away with the three points against Mexico, but a couple of defensive lapses let them down badly.
They will still go into this clash with Russia as clear favourites and it is tough to see them getting beaten.
Russia do not have the same quality up-front as Portugal and defensive errors made at the back will not be punished like they were against Mexico.
Cristiano Ronaldo does look motivated for this tournament – he was excellent in the opening game against Mexico – and he could single-handily win this game for his country.
Russia did play well against New Zealand, but this is obviously a much tougher challenge as New Zealand would struggle to beat most park football sides in their current form.
The Russians failed to capitalize on the majority of their chances against New Zealand and there is no doubt that they will not get as many against Portugal.
Russia were not tested by New Zealand defensively, but Portugal have scored 30 goals in their past eight internationals and it is easy to see them running all over their rivals.
Anything better than even-money for a Portugal win is outstanding value.
Back Portugal To Win @ $2.05
Thursday 22 June, 4:00am, Fisht Stadium
This is far from a vintage New Zealand outfit and that was definitely plain to see in their opening game of the tournament against Russia.
To their credit, New Zealand were brave and did scramble well in defence, but they were simply unable to hold on to the football and created absolutely nothing going forward.
Mexico came from behind twice to take a point from their opening Confederations Cup clash with Portugal and this is obviously a massive drop in quality.
There defence did struggle at times against Portugal, but this New Zealand side has failed to score against Northern Ireland, Belarus and Russia in their past three internationals.
Mexico will create countless chances during this clash and they should have no problems scoring goals, while it really is tough to see New Zealand getting on the score sheet.
Mexico To Beat The Line (-2 Goals) @ $2.20
Friday 23 June, 1:00am, Saint Petersburg Stadium
This is a massive game for both Cameroon and Australia as a defeat from either team will likely see them eliminated from the competition.
Cameroon defended gamely in their opening game against Chile before they conceded late, but they were generally outplayed by their rivals.
Australia obviously don’t have anywhere near the same amount of quality of Chile and it will be interesting to see how Cameroon are structured heading into this clash.
The Socceroos were truly awful in the first half against Germany and could not control the football, but they did improve markedly in the second half and actually had a couple of half chances to steal a point.
Australia were much better when Robbie Kruse came on and Aaron Mooy was able to play in a deeper role where he was able to dictate play.
Ange Postecoglou will surely make some changes to the side that started against Germany and if they can replicate the form that they showed in the second half are more than capable of coming away from this clash with something.
There really is not a great deal between these two sides and the $3.20 for this clash to finish as a stalemate really does standout as excellent value.
Back The Draw @ $3.20
Friday 23 June, 4:00am, Kazan Arena
Germany and Chile are two of the favourites to win this tournament and the winner of this clash will likely finish on top of Group B.
Germany started off extremely well against Australia and were clearly too good for the Socceroos, but their performance was sloppy at times and they seemed to lose interest somewhat in the second half.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno was particularly poor and he will need to improve significantly against a Chile side that is packed full of attacking threats.
It took a while for Chile to find the back of the net in their Confederations Cup opener with Cameroon, but they were always in control of the match and played some quality football at times.
There is no doubt that Germany will trouble their defence more than Cameroon, but Chile are well organised under Juan Antonio Pizzi and are solid enough at the back.
Neither of these teams will be particularly keen to take the attack to their rivals and they both know that a draw will likely be all they need from this clash in order to advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, which makes the $3.40 available for a stalemate excellent value.
Back the Draw @ $3.40
Sunday 25 June, 1:00am, Kazan Arena
Mexico were not entirely convincing in their clash with New Zealand, but they should still be able to secure a place in the knockout stages with a win over Russia.
Russia are fairly well-organised at the back and tough to break down, but it is difficult to see them troubling this Mexico outfit offensively.
Mexico will be keen to head into the semi-finals on the back of an impressive performance and the $2.38 available for them to win is a great bet.
Back Mexico To Win @ $2.38
Sunday 25 June, 1:00am, Saint Petersburg Stadium
New Zealand have not been disgraced during this tournament to date, but this does look like a genuine mismatch.
Portugal have played some solid football during the Confederations Cup and Cristiano Ronaldo continues to score goals at all.
The All Whites will have a tough time containing Ronaldo and it is difficult to see any result, but a comfortable win for Portugal.
Back Portugal To Win Both Halves @ $2.05
Monday 26 June, 1:00am, Fisht Stadium
Germany have not been entirely convincing during the Confederations Cup to date and Cameroon will fancy their chances of taking something from this clash.
Cameroon outplayed Australia in their most recent clash and if they had taken their chances they would have recorded a big win.
Germany know that a draw will be enough to see them progress to the knockout stages of the tournament and the $4.80 for a stalemate is a great value bet.
Back The Draw @ $4.80
Monday 26 June, 1:00am, Spartak Stadium
Australia face their toughest test yet of their Confederations Cup campaign and it is no surprise that Chile will start this clash as dominant favourites.
Chile just did enough in their most recent clash with Germany, but there is no doubt that they have another gear they can go to and it is tough to see how the struggling Australian defence will be able to handle the likes of Alexis Sanchez.
Chile scored three goals against Australia during the 2014 World Cup and a repeat does look likely in this clash.
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ $2.30
Thursday 29 June, 4:00am, Kazan Arena
Portugal finished on top of Group A and they will go into this semi-final clash with Chile as clear favourites.
There is no doubt that Portugal have played better football at the Confederations Cup than they did at Euro 2016 12 months ago and the inclusion of Andre Silva has proven to be a big positive for this side.
In saying that, Chile represent easily the toughest test that Portugal have faced during this tournament to date and keeping a clean-sheet will not be as easy as it was against both Russia and New Zealand.
Chile have certainly not set the world on fire during the Confederations Cup to date and they were outplayed by Australia during their final pool game, but the Copa American champions do have another level that they can go to.
The Chileans have lost just one of their past eight competitive fixtures and that streak includes clashes with some of the best teams in world football.
There is nowhere near as much between these two teams as the current market suggests and Chile are great value to progress to the 2017 Confederations Cup Final.
Back Chile To Win @ $3.10
Germany finished on top of Group B after Chile were unable to beat Australia and they are clear favourites to qualify for their maiden Confederations Cup final.
The Germans have taken a fairly untested squad into this tournament and they are far from the dominant force that was present at the 2014 World Cup, but they have done enough to get to this stage of the tournament.
The question is whether they have another gear to go to during the knockout stages and I really am unsure if that is the case.
Goalkeeping errors and defensive lapses hindered them during the pool stages and that will prove very costly against Mexico.
Mexico were not particularly impressive against either New Zealand or Russia and they took plenty of time to take control of both games.
Manager Juan Carlos Osorio has done plenty of experimentation with his side during the tournament to date and that could benefit his side as they head into the knockout stages.
It would not surprise if Hector Herrera and Jonathan dos Santos are able to dominate an inexperienced German midfield and Mexico are value to produce an upset.
Back Mexico To Win $3.60
The Playoff for third place means nothing at the World Cup and why they bother to play this clash at the Confederations Cup is a mystery.
In saying that, there is still a winner to be found and some value in the betting market.
There is no doubt that Portugal have been more impressive than Mexico during this tournament, but they will go into this clash without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who has left the tournament following the birth of his twins.
This represents a big challenge for Portugal and also an opportunity for a number of players in this team to step-up.
Portugal were far from disgraced against Chile in their semi-final and it was only poor penalties that cost them.
Mexico have never really got going in this tournament and their defence was found wanting badly by Germany in their semi-final.
There were four goals scored when these two teams met earlier in the tournament and it really would not surprise to see another goal-fest, which makes the $2.56 on offer for Over 3.5 goals to be scored a solid back.
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ $2.56
This will be the second meeting this tournament between Germany and Chile after they played out a stalemate during the Group stages.
Germany produced easily their best performance of the tournament to destroy Mexico in the semi-finals and this young side is sure to have taken plenty of confidence out of that performance.
While Germany did look very strong going forward, their defence still had lapses of poor judgement and it is fair to say that they were lucky to only concede a single goal.
Chile have not played up to their usual high standards at the Confederations Cup, but they are a battle-hardened side that simply find a way to get results.
They deserved to come away with the victory against Portugal as they created more chances their their rivals and they were the fitter team late – just like they were against Argentina in the Copa American Final last year.
Germany are set to start this clash as clear favourites and I can’t help, but feel that the market has overreacted to their performance against Mexico.
There really is not a great deal between these two teams – as we saw in the Group stages – and a draw after 90 minutes really does seem like the most likely option.
$3.30 for the stalemate is obvious value, while Chile to win the game in extra-time is also worth a gamble.
Back Draw @ $3.30