With the 2018 FIFA World Cup now less than a year away, the traditional tournament curtain raiser will start this month as World Cup host nation, Russia, welcome the reigning champions of each continent to the eighth instalment of the Confederations Cup.
Current world champions, Germany, currently head the market with most bookmakers, but coach, Joachim Lowe, has opted for a youthful, inexperienced side. World Cup winners Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil have all been left behind.
Stand-in captain, Julian Draxler's thirty international appearances makes him the most experienced member of a German squad that includes fifteen players on ten caps or less. It is suggested the tournament is nothing more than an opportunity for several players to get some international football under their belt before they begin their World Cup defence next summer.
If Germany aren't the force that the bookies' odds suggest, then who will follow in the footsteps of Brazil, France and Mexico and triumph in the Confederations Cup? Portugal perhaps?
Euro 2016 winners, Portugal, will once again be captained by talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo and arrive in Russia with a near full strength squad. Experienced players including Ronaldo, Nani, Joao Moutinho and Pepe are joined by the youthful talents of Andre Silva, Gelson Martins, Andre Gomes and new Manchester City signing, Bernardo Silva.
Portugal are one of three debutants in this year's tournament, along with hosts Russia and 2015 Copa America winners, Chile.
There are huge similarities between both Portugal and Chile. Like Portugal, Chile were outsiders going into their continental competition and will now have serious ambitions of winning this tournament.
Like Portugal, Chile are spearheaded by a player well known to Premier League fans, with Arsenal forward, Alexis Sanchez, leading their line. Sanchez is part of an immensely experienced Chilean squad that includes three players on over 100 caps. The Chile squad have a combined 1,106 international caps, compared to Germany's 179.
Portugal are currently 13/5 to win the tournament with Betway whilst Bet Victor and Paddy Power are offering 3/1 on a Chilean triumph.
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