2017 Confederations Cup: Semi-Finals Preview


Our football writer takes an in-depth look at the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-finals

And then there were four! Only the great remain but there can be only one winner. If you had to ask any football pundit before the tournament began, they would have told you Portugal, Chile, Germany and Mexico are favourites for a place in the semi-finals, with an outside chance of hosts Russia upsetting the applecart. And this proved to be the case with the aforementioned teams set to square off over the next few days.

Portugal and Chile will clash in the opening semi-final before Germany and Mexico lock horns. With two mouth-watering clashes to look forward to, I will be shining a bit of light on both semi-final matchups. Let’s check it out!

Wednesday 28 June

Portugal 27/20 | Draw 43/20 | Chile 2/1
Portugal topped Group A with two wins and a draw, scoring seven goals and conceding just once. They kick-started the campaign with a 2-2 draw against Mexico, before earning a hard-fought 1-0 win over Russia and finally, thrashing New Zealand 4-0 last time out.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the scoring charts, alongside Germany’s Timo Werder and Lars Stindl. The Real Madrid superstar has been sensational this season and Portugal will be hopeful of Ronaldo leading his team to a second consecutive piece of silverware, following their success in Euro 2016.

Chile progressed to the semi-finals undefeated with one win and two draws from three games. They needed just a point against Australia in their final group game to advance to the semi-finals and they got just that – it was hard-earned but in the end, they salvaged a 1-1 draw.

Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal are undoubtedly Chile’s go-to players. The duo has been in sync at times this tournament and their team will need their quality and experience to get over the line. Sanchez is a player with sheer pace, strength on the ball, skill and an eye for goal. Vidal on the other hand, keeps the ball flowing with his inch-perfect passing, while his vision and creativity will open plenty of space for teammates.

This one could go either way! The Euro 2016 Champions vs the 2016 Copa America titleholders. It’s sure to go down to the wire, so I’m backing the sides to share the spoils at 43/20. For the more conservative, I like the look of the Totals market – Under 2.5 Goals – at 6/10. 

Thursday 29 June

Germany 21/20 | Draw 24/10 | Mexico 24/10
On Tuesday, Germany and Mexico will square off in what promises to be a thrilling contest! Joachim Löw’s team claimed top spot in Group B, going unbeaten with two wins and a draw from three matches.

Die Mannschaft’s young players have certainly stepped up to the plate and delivered on all fronts. The Germans are attacking the game from the get-go, which has worked out well for them. However, it has left them vulnerable defensively at times, something that Löw will certainly be fine-tuning ahead of their encounter with Mexico on Thursday night.

El Tri finished second in Group A behind Portugal on goal difference. They have scored two goals in each game but have also conceded in all three matches this tournament.

It goes to show their ability to score goals, attack the game and play exciting and entertaining football but it also exposes their defensive issues, which the Germans will be sure to sniff out if Mexico are not at their very best.

Both sides play an attacking brand of football but Germany’s young guns look determined to leave their mark in this tournament. For the punters who prefer the exotic markets, Both Teams To Score – Yes – is likely at 7/10. And as for a result, Germany are tipped to come out on top. 

Portugal v Chile - Draw (43/20)
Germany – Win (21/20)

Portugal v Chile – Under 2.5 Goals (6/10)
Germany v Mexico – Both Teams To Score (7/10)

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets

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