Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 3/5
Chile are among the favourites to lift the 2017 Confederations Cup trophy, but their road to glory is not going to be an easy one. La Roja are coming off a 2016 Copa America title, but their first exam in this tournament will be extremely difficult, as they will take on a Cameroon side that will do their best to complicate the reigning CONMEBOL champions.
Chile have been one of the most successful National Teams in recent years. Juan Antonio Pizzi led them to the title in the 2016 Copa America, and they were coming off a 2015 Copa America title on home soil. Even though they don’t have the same history countries such as Brazil and Argentina have, there is no doubt Chile have been on the right track of late. Will they be able to respond in Russia? If they want to make it all the way to the end, then Chile must improve defensively and take advantage of their chances. After all, they are playing against some of the top teams in the world. And they will need to be at their best – or at least, show an improvement after their latest results – a draw to Russia and a loss to Romania.
Pizzi has the entire squad available with the exception of Claudio Bravo. The Manchester City goalkeeper has not been able to recover from a hamstring injury, and he has been ruled out for this game.
There is also a doubt regarding who will start on the right wing. Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, Leonardo Valencia and Edson Puch are choices, but all signs indicate Pizzi will decide who starts at the last minute. All three players are fit, so it seems this will be a matter of who looks better in the final training session on Saturday morning.
Cameroon clinched their berth in this tournament after winning the 2017 African Cup of Nations. However, it is not a secret that they are not the powerhouse they were 15 years ago. Even though the team features a talented squad right now, The Indomitable Lions lack a bit of quality compared to past years. Samuel Eto’o, Alex Song and Stephane M’Bia do not feature on the side anymore, and the team is looking to re-estructure themselves for the future. The African Cup of Nations title was a step in the right direction, but there is no doubt they lack a lot of international experience. This could be costly against a far more experienced side the like the Chilean one. And their recent loss against Colombia suggests they might struggle against a superior side – in terms of technique – such as Chile.
Cameroon will have a full strength side ahead of this game.
If we don’t consider the injury sustained by Ambroise Oyongo – who will miss the rest of the year – then the Lions have their Best XI available for his fixture.
Key Factors To Consider
- Chile did not win in their two friendly matches in European soil. They drew 1-1 to Russia, and lost 2-3 to Romania earlier this week.
- Cameroon has not fared any better, however, as they are coming off a disastrous 0-4 defeat against Colombia this past Tuesday.
- These two sides have met just once before. It happened in the 1998 World Cup, and the game ended with a 1-1 draw.
- Alexis Sanchez only needs one more goal to become Chile’s all-time leading scorer. He is currently tied with Marcelo Salas with 37 goals.
- Both sides will have important absences ahead of this game. Chile won’t have Claudio Bravo, while Cameroon won’t have Ambroise Oyongo due to an injury. The Cameroonian full back will miss between six to eight months.
Cameroon will make things difficult for Chile. However, La Roja have enough talent to start the tournament with a comfortable win. Expect Chile to secure the three points in their debut on Russian soil.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 3/5
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