Confederations Cup favourites Germany kick off their campaign against Australia in Monday’s match from Sochi.
Die Mannschaft are chalked up as a 2/1 (3.0) chance with bet365 to secure silverware in this competition for the first time in their history, but Joachim Low has opted to rest a number of his key men this summer and, so, it is a decidedly second-string German side that will take to the field in Russia.
Nevertheless, Low’s men are warm favourites – at just 2/5 (1.40) - to kick off the campaign with a win, while the same firm go 4/1 (5.0) that the 2014 World Cup winners are forced to settle for a share of the spoils against the Socceroos.
With the Germans set to name an inexperienced side for this meeting, Australia will be aiming to lay down a marker with a famous victory. Ange Postecoglou’s men are available at 8/1 (9.0) to claim Die Mannschaft’s scalp in this Group B encounter.
Australia will be without captain Mile Jedinak throughout their Confederations Cup campaign and the loss of the Aston Villa man through injury is a big blow for the Socceroos. Veteran striker Tim Cahill and midfielder Mark Milligan are expected to share captaincy duties in Russia.
The Socceroos have been beaten in just one of their last nine matches, but that loss came in a chastening 4-0 defeat against Brazil in Australia’s final warm-up fixture ahead of this competition. Tite’s team scored after just 12 seconds and, in truth, the margin of defeat could and should have been significantly more punishing for Postecoglu’s men.
Germany smashed seven past San Marino in World Cup qualifying last time out and, perhaps with this competition in mind, Low opted to field a number of players who will participate in this tournament in the game against the Group C minnows.
Striker Sandro Wagner helped himself to a hat-trick on his full competitive debut for Die Mannschaft and the 29-year-old striker – along with many of his teammates – will view this tournament as an opportunity to play their way into Low’s plans ahead of next summer’s showpiece.
Australia have managed a clean sheet in just one of their last seven matches and their defensive frailty is surely a cause for concern for Postecoglou ahead of the Confederations Cup campaign. Indeed, the 6/4 (2.50) quote for the Germans to score more than two goals in Monday’s match could represent decent value.
Postecoglou’s men have conceded at least two goals in three of their last five outings, while the Germans have hit three or more goals in five of their last six competitive victories. As such, the 6/4 (2.50) quote for Low’s second-string side to make the Socceroos suffer may well provide punters with a path to profit.