Back in the competition after the emotional 2003 participation, Cameroon kick off their Confederations Cup campaign with a match against exciting Chile, the Copa America winners from 2015.
Third time the charm for Cameroon?
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is Cameroon’s third-ever participation in this prestigious competition. The African country last took part in 2003 in France. It was the unfortunate year of Marc-Vivien Foe’s passing which overshadowed the Cameroon’s participation at the event. Distraught by their teammate’s death during the semi-final match against Colombia, Cameroon were unable to pull themselves together in the final match against the host nation. Back to the Confederations Cup scene with a relatively unknown squad which comes off the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon hopes that their rebuilt squad could continue the successful stride at the international stage. Hugo Broos has managed to transform the squad and introduce many young players, who mostly remain unknown for the majority of the football world. Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana is one of the most prominent players in the first-team, together with Vincent Aboubakar, who remains one of the most recognisable players in the team. Christian Bassogog is another noteworthy player, a well-known name in the European football who was linked with a number of teams following Cameroon’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations success.
Andre Onana is pushing for a start in goal, but Sevilla shot-stopper Ondoa is likely to remain the first choice. Aboubakar and Bassogog are likely to spearhead the attack for the African Lions.
Chile out to win it
The South American nation travelled to Russia determined to win the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and lift their third major trophy in as many years. Chile has emerged as one of the hottest national teams on the planet, and head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi continued the great work started by his predecessors Jorge Sampaoli and Marcelo Bielsa. Having dropped out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the round of 16, losing to hosts Brazil, Chile headed in the 2015 Copa America with a great desire to prove a point to the world. Chile lifted the coveted trophy on home soil and surprisingly to many went on to defend their title at the 2016 Copa America Centenario in the United States. Having been pitted against the likes of Australia, Cameroon and experimental Germany side, Chile are definitely favourites to top the group given the fact they arrived in Russia with their strongest possible squad. Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal and Arsenal wantaway star Alexis Sanchez are definitely the two players to have a close look on.
Toselli is in line to start in goal, whereas Pizzi will not experiment with his squad. Medel leads the defence, whereas it is up to Vidal and Sanchez to control the remaining lines in the team.
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations champions go head to head against the 2016 Copa America winners in what is likely to be an openly-contested match between two teams that have a lot to prove. The South Americans hold a slight edge over their rivals and we expect to see them triumph.
Top pick: Chile 1.62 (8/13) @SkyBet
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – No 1.80 (4/5) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Chile to win to Nil 2.50 (6/4) @Ladbrokes