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Germany are Confed Cup favourite; Cristiano Ronaldo eyes more success

Germany coach Joachim Low looks on during a training session at Park Arena training ground on June 16, 2017 in Sochi, Russia.
Coach Joachim Low opens the Confederations Cup on Monday against Australia.

Even though several of their biggest stars will be staying home, Germany still have the best chance of winning the Confederations Cup when it begins in Russia on Saturday.

Germany, which qualified for the eight-team event by winning the World Cup in 2014, have a 38 percent chance of winning the final in St. Petersburg on July 2, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI).

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Bayern Munich's Mats Hummels are among the most notable players who were not included in the squad. Coach Joachim Low defended his selections last week, saying that the focus remains on winning the World Cup next year and that players must have time to rest.

The eight teams are divided into two groups of four and the top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals.

Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and hosts Russia are in Group A, while Australia, Cameroon and Chile join Germany in Group B.

ESPN's Soccer Power Index Confederations Cup 2017
Despite naming a less-experienced squad, Germany have the best chance of winning the Confederations Cup.

Although the reigning World Cup champion has won the Confederations Cup three times since 1997, when the event began including representatives from all of FIFA's confederations, no team has won the event and then won the World Cup the following year.

Brazil were the closest to do so, having won the Confederations Cup at home in 2013 before losing to Germany in the World Cup final a year later.

Cristiano Ronaldo's accomplishments since May 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo could add to his achievements if Portugal were to win the Confederations Cup.

Should Portugal win the event, it would cap a remarkable 14 months for Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward, who has scored 12 goals in his past six games for Portugal, has won a number of club and international competitions as well as several individual awards.

In addition to St. Petersburg, which will host the opening game on Saturday and the final, the Confederations Cup will be held in Moscow, Kazan and Sochi.

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