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Germany, Chile for Australia at Confed Cup

AAP logoAAP 26/11/2016 Ben McKay

The tough matches keep coming for Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos, pitted against world champions Germany and 2014 World Cup nemesis Chile in the draw for the 2017 Confederations Cup on Sunday morning (AEDT).

The two strongest teams in the World Cup lead-in tournament await the Socceroos in Russia next year, with an as-yet-unknown African side making up Australia's four-team group.

With the possible exception of Mexico - which will play off in group A with hosts Russia, Portugal and New Zealand - it's the toughest possible draw for Postecoglou's men.

Not that the national team coach is bothered.

"It's exciting," Postecoglou said from Russia, where he attended the draw in Kazan on Sunday morning (AEDT).

"Both Chile and Germany are at least as strong, if not stronger than they were three years ago.

"Both ranked inside the top five in the world. It gives you a great opportunity to measure yourself against that."

Australia has recent experience with both of its confirmed opponents.

The Socceroos earned a 2-2 draw with Germany in March last year in Kaiserslautern.

The two nations will open their Confederations Cup campaign on June 19 in Sochi, the host city of the last Winter Olympics.

Australia will then face the African champions - to be decided in February - on June 22 in Saint Petersburg, before finishing their group stage matches on June 25 in Moscow against Chile.

The South Americans were one of the opponents in Australia's last World Cup campaign, defeating the Socceroos 3-1.

Australia was also beaten by eventual third-placed finishers the Netherlands and world champions Spain in the toughest group of the tournament.

Postecoglou said history with world No.3 Germany and world No.4 Chile didn't make his task any easier, but would boost his players as they shoot for the 2018 World Cup.

"It gives you a measuring stick as to where you're at," he said.

"For a lot of these players we've had together these last three years they will have been through a World Cup, an Asian Cup and now a Confederations Cup.

"It's a great way to really get a strong foundation in terms of their international careers."

Australia will play at least five games - and up to seven should they progress from the group - during a busy June.

A home World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia on June 8 will provide a Confederations Cup sendoff with Postecoglou looking to add another friendly.

"We'll have at least a couple weeks with the players (before the Germany game) which is great for us leading into a major tournament," he said.

"We'll look to play at least one more preparation game after the Saudi game knowing we've got that 10-day window."

Minnows New Zealand, the Oceania champions, will play off in the tournament opener against the hosts on June 17.

THE SOCCEROOS DRAW AT THE 2017 CONFEDERATIONS CUP

19 June - Australia v Germany - Sochi

22 June - Australia v African champions - Saint Petersburg

25 June - Australia v Chile - Moscow

28/29 June - Possible semi-final - Kazan/Sochi

2 July - Possible final/third-place playoff - Moscow/Saint Petersburg

* All kick-off times are 6pm local (1am AEDT the following day).

THE SOCCEROOS HISTORY IN THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP

* 1997 Runners-up - defeated 6-0 by Brazil in the final

* 2001 Third place - defeated 1-0 by Japan in the semi-final, then beat Brazil 1-0 in the third-place playoff

* 2005 Group stage exit - defeated in all three group stage games, losing 4-3 to Germany, 4-2 to Argentina and 2-0 to Tunisia.

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