Confederations Cup Betting: Group B Preview

8Jun 2013

Confederations Cup 2013

Luke Moore casts his eye across Group B ahead of the Confederations Cup, a pool featuring Spain, Uruguay, Tahiti and Nigeria...

Spain

Spain are undoubtedly the best international team in world football, and arguably the greatest there has ever been. Winners of their last three major tournaments and spoilt for choice in just about every position, La Roja will have serious designs on lifting this trophy and not least because it may well be the only thing a lot of these players haven't actually won at international level. They were famously turned over 0-2 by the United States in the semi-final of the 2009 tournament.

Odds of around 2.78 are relatively paltry and make them second favourites behind the hosts, but Brazil aren't in the best form currently and are showing signs of perhaps buckling under the weight of expectation. Vicente Del Bosque's men are old hands at performing in major tournaments and at their best are simply a winning machine. 2.78 may start to seem overly generous should they hit top gear.

If you're not interested in the outright winner market, Roberto Soldado looks a decent bet to be top scorer, provided the manager gives him a chance. He's the in-form striker in the squad having just come off the back of his best ever goal-scoring season for Valencia and should have way too much for Uruguay and Nigeria's backline. And what he'd do to Tahiti's defence should come with a public health warning.

 

Uruguay

Uruguay are struggling to qualify for next year's World Cup as things stand. The Copa America winners have failed to replicate the form they showed in that tournament and find themselves sixth in a group of nine all looking to make it to Brazil. Although La Celeste are unbeaten at home, they've not picked up a single win away from Montevideo and, in what looks like a tough group, they're likely to need to beat Nigeria to have a chance of making the semi-finals.

That said, their squad is a strong one, and a break away from the grind of a World Cup qualification campaign may prove to be as good as a rest. Luis Suarez is almost as good as anyone in the world in his position, and he will be more than ably assisted by Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan. Couple that with a hugely experienced group of personnel in midfield and defence and you have the makings of a good side, not massively different from the set of players that impressed in South Africa three years ago.

With the form they're in, it's unlikely Uruguay will win this tournament. But, make it through the group and you're only a game away from the final. What's more, no- one backed them in the Maracana in 1950 either, and we all know how that turned out...

 

Tahiti

Tahiti make their first appearance in the Confederations Cup courtesy of their OFC Nations Cup triumph last year in which they beat New Caledonia in the final 1-0 after New Caledonia themselves humbled New Zealand in the semi. Tahiti and New Caledonia are two French colonies with a combined population of under half a million, yet they contested a continental final and now the victors are looking forward to duking it out with some of the world's best nations.

Steevy Chong Hue notched their winner in the final, and he at least has some European experience, turning out a few times for Vincent Kompany-owned BX Brussels in the Belgian lower leagues. Elsewhere, it's pretty slim pickings outside of Nicolas Vallar, a defender who once turned out for Montpellier a decade ago and Marama Vahirua, a striker relatively well known in France and currently contracted to AS Nancy having spent the season on loan in Greece. In the unlikely even that Tahiti do manage to get a goal, it's likely to come from him, and watch out for his down-on-one-knee, paddling-the-boat celebration. It's not to be missed.

The odds on Tahiti winning this competition are astronomical, and rightly so. But if you do believe in miracles, maybe a little tickle on them emerging from the group is in order.

Don't look at me to join you though, you're on your own with that one.

 

Nigeria

This year's African Cup of Nations winners are currently in rude health. They sit atop their World Cup qualification group and will be buoyed by that famous win in South Africa in February, and continuity is relatively assured after manager Stephen Keshi's future at the helm was secured following the victory. Followers of the Premier League will recognise both Victor Moses and Mikel John Obi in the squad, two players that have the ability to make the difference going forward and at the back respectively on their day.

Odds of 34.0 on them to lift the trophy do seem quite punchy given their recent form and victory against their continent's biggest and best, but the brutal truth is that they won't have faced anyone of the quality of Spain or Brazil in the AfCON, at least one of which they'll realistically have to beat to win the tournament.

The Super Eagles have a great chance of qualifying from their group though, and that's not a bad bet should you want to stick some money down on them. Their price to win will shorten dramatically should they get out of their group (likely to go down to a straight shootout between them and Uruguay), so a back-to-lay tickle at 34.0 looks shrewd.

Bet HERE

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Keywords: Nigeria, Tahiti, Uruguay, Spain, Confederations Cup, Group B

Source: Betfair

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