If recent tournaments are a sure guide then Germany and Mexico can begin to prepare to meet in the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 final in Frankfurt in four days' time.

In the previous three editions of the competition, the two group winners have always emerged unscathed through the semi-finals. The only exception since it became an eight-team festival was in Saudi Arabia 1997 when Uruguay, the winners of Group B, were defeated by Australia in the semi-final with Brazil, the Group A winners, going on to lift the trophy at the Socceroos' expense.

Another pattern emerges from a study of previous tournaments: it is always the winners of Group A who emerge victorious at the end – France 2003 (France), Korea/Japan 2001 (France), Mexico 1999 (Mexico), Saudi Arabia 1997 (Brazil).

So there is no room for debate - it will be a Germany v Mexico final with the home nation left to bring down the curtain on their own event with a trophy parade.