The Confederations Cup will kick-off in Russia this Saturday as the hosts take on Oceania champions New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.
The eight-nation FIFA tournament, which consists of the champions from six continents, World Cup winner Germany, and the hosts, is supposed to work as a dress-rehearsal for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
Both teams from the opening game are underdogs in Group A, which also contains Portugal and Mexico; however, the hosts will be huge favourites to claim three points in the tournament opener.
Russia, under coach Stanislav Cherchesov, has adopted a 3-5-2 formation and have witnessed an upturn in their results. Russia, who failed to register a win in last year’s Euro Cup, are undefeated in their last two games – they defeated Hungary 3-0 and managed a 1-1 draw with Chile during the international week.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis will come into the game on the back of consecutive 1-0 defeats to Northern Ireland and Belarus respectively.
In the next section of this article, we will take a look at Russia vs New Zealand betting odds.
The hosts will be looking forward to using this tournament as a launch pad for next year’s World Cup. However, they will have a tough road ahead of them in their bid to reach the knockout stages. The game against the Kiwis is a must-win for them and they are overwhelming favourites to do just that at 7/25 odds at 888sport.
The Kiwis, who have previously appeared in three Confederations Cup, are yet to win a game in this tournament. In the nine matches, they have played in the tournament, the Kiwis are yet to win a game, and they have tasted defeat on eight occasions. Understandably, they are available at huge odds of 10/1.
In FIFA World Cup 2010, the Kiwis managed to draw all three of their group games, and a draw in this game is not far from possibility at 21/5 odds.
In the total goals market, ‘over 2.5 goals’ is available at 8/9 odds while ‘under 2.5 goals’ gets you almost similar odds of 23/25.
In the ‘both team to score market’, you can back the ‘yes’ option at 33/20 while the opposite is available at 12/25.
Krasnodar forward Fyodor Smolov is expected to lead Russia’s forward line, and he is the favourites to score in the game 81/100 odds. You can also back him to score the opening goal of the game at 47/20 odds. In other goal scoring options, Russia have Dimitry Poloz to score a goal in the game at 13/10.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis hugely rely on Leeds striker Chris Wood for their goalscoring needs. The 25-year-old, who has scored 19 international goals for his nation, is a good bet to score anytime in the game at 4/1 odds. For greater odds, you can also back him to score the opening goal at 10/1 odds.
Prediction: Our preview is backing a 2-1 win for the hosts at 19/2 odds.