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Here’s a team-by-team guide to help you decide who to back in the Confederations Cup

by Josh Powell | June 14, 2013
JAZZ HANDS: The Brazil team had not perfected a winning photo pose for the 2009 competition

JAZZ HANDS: The Brazil team had not perfected a winning photo pose for the 2009 competition

By Josh Powell | Confederations Cup betting

The Confederations Cup is like the World Cup just without the Dutch falling out with each other, the Germans winning on penalties, or the English embarrassing themselves on a global stage. You still get all the biggest names and the best games plus it’s live on BBC so you don’t have to deal with Adrian Chiles’ smug grin.

Brazil are the reigning Champions and get the chance to host the event in preparation for the Olympics and the World Cup next year. Despite not playing a competitive game for two years the Brazilians are the 6/4 favourites, closely followed by the World and European champs Spain.

There’s a few other decent sides in the mix like Mexico, Italy and Uruguay and then a couple of teams destined to struggle in Nigeria and Japan. For some reason, someone at FIFA thought it would be absolutely hi-larious to throw Tahiti in there to get hockeyed for 270 minutes.

Here’s your complete run-down of the contenders and their chances of Confederations Cup glory.

Group A.

Brazil

  • To qualify from the group: 1/10
  • To win the tournament: 6/4
  • Player of the tournament: Neymar 9/1

The Brazilians are bidding for their third Confederations Cup win on the spin after winning in 2005 and 2009. The yellow and gold have been beaten just once in 15 games, by the mighty Three Lions. The smallest of small victories for Roy Hodgson in that stat. Fred and Neymar have banged in a combined total of 31 goals in 58 appearances but defensively there are still questions around serial-flapper Julio Cesar and David Luiz, a man who is consistently one marauding run away from a complete balls-up.

STAYIN' ALIVE: Julio Cesar can hit every note the Bee Gees ever sang

STAYIN’ ALIVE: Julio Cesar can hit every high note the Bee Gees ever sang

Italy

  • To qualify from the group: 8/15
  • To win the tournament: 7/1
  • Player of the tournament: Andrea Pirlo 12/1

The Italians are here as European Cup losers but will still fancy themselves to make a the semi-finals of this tournament from Group A. Mario Balotelli has eight goals in 22 appearances for his country and also got himself sent off against Czech Republic. Hopefully his recent engagement hasn’t calmed him down because the world is expecting fireworks.

Mexico

  • To qualify from the group: 6/4
  • To win the tournament: 12/1
  • Player of the tournament: Javier Hernandez 25/1

Mexico qualify for the tournament after winning the 2011 CONACAF Gold Cup, coming from 2-0 down to beat USA 4-2 in the final. They could be the dark horses, going 13 games unbeaten and drawing 89 per cent of their games since the turn of the year. Worryingly they have lost four out of five games against Brazil and their only previous meeting with Italy ended 2-0 to the Azzurri.

GORMLESS: Chicarito has perfected his celebration, based on Leon Osmon's only expression

GORMLESS: Chicarito has perfected his celebration, based on Leon Osmon’s facial expression

Japan

  • To qualify from the group: 5/1
  • To win the tournament: 33/1
  • Player of the tournament: Shinji Kagawa 50/1

Tadanari Lee knocked in an extra-time winner against Australia to win the AFC Asian Cup two years ago and secure Japan’s place as whipping boys of Group A. They are ranked 32 in the world by FIFA, a measure which makes as much sense as Coldplay’s popularity but it does give us a hint of an indication that their form is mediocre. Watching the BBC pundits talk solely about Shinji Kagawa because that is the only player they know, is a safe bet.

Group B.

Spain 7/4

  • To qualify from the group: 1/20
  • To win the tournament: 7/4
  • Player of the tournament: Andreas Iniesta 9/1

People that spent the European Championship moaning that Spain’s style of play was boring are the kind of people who wish they were Spanish. There’s nothing boring about winning the World and European Cup, and anyone who tells you that losing just two competitive Internationals since October 2006 is tedious needs their head testing. That’s the kind of record most countries will never achieve.

STRICTLY COME DANCING: The unlikely partnership of Iniesta and Glen Whelen prepare for auditions

STRICTLY COME DANCING: The unlikely partnership of Iniesta and Glen Whelen prepare for auditions

Uruguay

  • To qualify from the group: 2/5
  • To win the tournament: 8/1
  • Player of the tournament: Edinson Cavani 12/1

Luis Suarez averages exactly one goal every two games for his country but Uruguay come into this tournament finding life tougher than Tulisa’s lawyer. They’ve won just four games from 15 since the start of 2012 and are making a right dogs dinner of trying to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. They face Spain in their opening game and were beaten 3-1 by them in a friendly in February.

Nigeria 33/1

  • To qualify from the group: 13/10
  • To win the tournament: 33/1
  • Player of the tournament: Available on request

The Africa Cup of Nations winners are unbeaten in 18 games and will be eyeing up an upset with Uruguay struggling for form. The Super Eagles have beaten footballing giants like Liberia and Mali on their record streak, stretching all the way back to this time last year. Unfortunately record cap holder Joseph Yobo hasn’t made the squad which means our three-day brainstorming session in Power Tower has been a waste. When are we ever going to get the chance to use the pun Yobocop?

SUPER EAGLES: Nigeria celebrate the fact that Mark Lawrenson won't be covering any of the games

SUPER EAGLES: Nigeria celebrate the fact that Mark Lawrenson won’t be covering their games

Tahiti

  • To qualify from the group: 150/1
  • To win the tournament: 2500/1
  • Player of the tournament: Are you having a laugh?

On the upside Tahiti scored 20 goals and won all five games in the OFC Nations Cup last year resulting in them lifting the trophy and securing a spot here. Unfortunately the upside is very insignificant. Tahiti got spanked 7-0 by Chile’s under-20s in preparation for this tournament and their manager Eddy Etaeta is already spouting nonsense about the team just enjoying the occasion and the privilege of being there. Expect a cricket score.

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