The Confederations Cup is such an event that gathers all the winners from each continent’s regional competition, the World Cup winners and future World Cup hosts. It is the probably the second major tournament after the FIFA World Cup and this year Russia is about to host this tournament. According to an age-old tradition, being a host Russia is going to open the matches. In addition, host Russia is all set to kick off the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, to achieve victory in their opening match to set a successful tournament for them.
The First Match Schedule:
Russia vs New Zealand
4pm on Saturday, June 17.
Live TV: ITV from 3.30pm.
Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg
Inside Team Tactics of Russia:
Russia have come up their strongest possible squad for this tournament, with their most experienced goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev with captaining the side and left-sided midfielder Yuri Zhirkov who will be taking up a key role in the midfield along with Denis Glushakov and Aleksandr Samedov and Fyodor Smolov will manage line upfront.
The Russians should be confident enough as they have stronger line up than New Zealand and they secure better chances. Cherchesov’s men (Russia) have a solid back line as well which can help to limit New Zealand’s chances.
Probable lineup: (3-5-2)
Akinfeev, Kudryashov, Vasin, Shishkin, Kombarov, Glushakov, Golovin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Smolov, Poloz.
Inside Team Tactics of New Zealand:
The bad news for all the New Zealand fans is that the team is going to start without West Ham defender Winston Reid as he is suffering from an injury. Absence of him clearly hints that there will not be any experienced player to defend their back line. That is not all that is bad for this squad. Having weakness even in other departments of the field, Chris Wood will probably have to lift majority of the team’s responsibility. This 25-year old is in a good form with scores of 27 goals from 44 Championship games. Marco Rojas can also appear as a trouble for the Russians.
Russian has managed to win against Ghana, Romania, Turkey, and Hungary since last summer but New Zealand could not score in three of their last five matches.
Chris Wood can turn out to be a key player. He is indeed a good header of the ball who is also known to be a hardcore finisher.
Probable lineup: (5-3-2)
Marinovic, Colvey, Boxall, Durante, Tzimopoulos, Wynne, McGlinchey, Rojas, Thomas, Smeltz, Wood
Despite of some facts such as Russia is a debutant in the Confederation cup, New Zealand have 16 players who pay for abroad while Russia have Zero, the most likely outcome is a victory for Russia. It is expected to be a neck-to-neck competition but still the chances go for Russia.
Whoever wins the match but the eventual winners might not want to get too excited as the Confederations Cup champions have never gone on to win the following year’s World Cup.
How to watch
Time: 11 a.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Live stream: Watch live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven–day trial.