The draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup concluded today in Kazan. The event was conducted by the FIFA Competitions and Events Chief Officer Colin Smith and FIFA Deputy Secretary General for Football Zvonimir Boban. Joining them was former Russian footballer Sergei Semak and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva. Semak stated previously that this tournament will be Russia's sole opportunity to showcase their potential, before the start of the World Cup. Without any competitive matches after the Confederations Cup, it is safe to say that it will be difficult to meet Stanislav Cherchesov's expectations of qualifying for the semifinals.

The team's coach hopes to pull off a miraculous run at the World Cup, similarly to Iceland's great run at Euro 2016.

The Portugal-Mexico match will take center stage in Group A

The opening match of the 2017 Confederations Cup will see the hosts take on New Zealand, at the Krestovsky Stadium, in Saint Petersburg. Portugal and Mexico are the two other teams from Group A. It seems clear to say that those teams stand out in the group. Both Portugal and Mexico should progress on to the semifinals, unless the host nation can pull off a great upset, against any of those two powerhouses. With the home fans behind them, Russia will head to the tournament with confidence, and a well given boost of energy for a team that is ranked 55th in the world.

Unfortunately the host nation will need more than that, to get past the Euro 2016 champions, as well as the champions of CONCACAF.

The Russians will also hope that they will not have any injuries to key players like Artem Dzyuba and Alexander Kokorin. Russia surprisingly triumphed over Portugal in 2012, in a World Cup Qualifying match.

They also managed to beat the Portuguese in a friendly last year. Those matches may not hold any significance to some, however the game of football can be very uncertain. It will be interesting to see how this group unfolds. Mark your calendars for the Portugal-Mexico match in Kazan, on the eighteenth of June.

Group B preview with Chile and Germany going head to head

In Group B, the Kazan Arena will be the venue for the highly anticipated Germany-Chile match, on the twenty second of June. The two teams stand out in their respective groups, as the favorites to advance to the semifinals. Australia, winner of the Asian Cup and the champion of the Africa Cup of Nations, to be determined in February. The undetermined African champions cannot be ruled out just yet, nonetheless, Chile and Germany will be the teams to beat in the group.

Moscow, Sochi, Kazan and Saint Petersburg will host the tournament next summer. The last stadium in Saint Petersburg is to be completed by the end of next month, with the opening scheduled for Christmas Day.

The Confederations Cup will begin on the seventeenth of June and conclude on the second of July. With the World Cup in Russia just around the corner, the Confederations Cup will give the fans a little taste of what is to come in 2018. Today's draw was the first step to success for the future World Cup contenders in Russia.

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