Likely to be India, England, Australia and South Africa in the semis

What is the Champions Trophy? (2:07)

As England and Wales prepare to host the Top 8 ODI teams, here is a look at the history of the Champions Trophy (2:07)

The original concept for the Champions Trophy, apart from wanting to raise funds for the ICC, was to hold a prestigious 50-over tournament. The 2017 version has all the makings of exactly that with four really powerful teams and the other four capable of causing an upset.

Hovering over the tournament is an edginess created by the recent tragedy in Manchester. This diabolical act will have an effect on both players and fans.

The English are renowned for their stoicism in times of adversity and this trait will be fully tested under the circumstances. Some players will cope better than others, but the ones who will fare the best are those who can overcome any anxieties and maintain their focus on cricket while they are out on the field.

The four really strong squads are hosts England, defending champions India and perennial competitors Australia and South Africa.

The Australians are currently embroiled in a divisive pay dispute with their board, but the altercation has only served to unite the players. The sense that this dispute will further galvanise the Australian team was reinforced by skipper Steven Smith, when he indicated that winning the Champions Trophy would help the players in their negotiations with Cricket Australia.

Ever since hitting rock bottom with an early exit from the 2015 World Cup, England's 50-over cricket has been on an upward trend. They appear to be peaking perfectly for this tournament, but they will need to ensure they don't succumb to stage fright in front of an expectant home audience.

England have never won a major one-day tournament, and with their powerful batting line-up and strong pace attack, this is a great opportunity to erase that glitch in their record. In the 2013 tournament, England lost to India in a rain-affected final, and in 2017, the Virat Kohli-led side will again be a major challenge for the hosts.

Kohli's men have turned up for this tournament with a glut of T20 games in the IPL. This may turn out to be good preparation, especially when followed by a couple of 50-over warm-up games to get the mind fully attuned to the longer version. T20 cricket ensures batsmen are looking for runs and, of late, bowlers have focused more on taking wickets - the ideal mindset for both facets of the one-day game.

India don't have the pace of the other three top bowling sides, but they do possess a well-balanced attack, capable of taking wickets in any conditions.

South Africa are the fourth powerhouse team and, even without the injured Dale Steyn, they possess a strong pace attack. They also have the wily legspinner Imran Tahir seeking wickets in the middle overs, which is a crucial part of playing 50-over cricket successfully.

The South African batting line-up is also powerful, but the team are yet to overcome the knockout-stage hoodoo that dogs them in tournaments. Despite assurances from skipper AB de Villiers in the 2015 World Cup that this was a thing of the past, they have done nothing to brush the monkey off their back.

An ingrained conservatism, especially surrounding their tactics in the field, has hurt South Africa in the past and they need to shed that approach to win this tournament.

While the winner will probably come from those four sides, none of the favourites can afford to take teams like Pakistan and New Zealand lightly.

As always, New Zealand are a solid outfit but they lack the powerhouse players of Australia and England, both of whom are in New Zealand's group.

Pakistan have the pace attack to worry India and South Africa in Group B, but their batting is brittle and lacks the firepower necessary to unsettle the top sides.

Both Sri Lanka and an improving Bangladesh will be competitive but they won't win enough matches to qualify for the knockout stage.

Throughout its history, the Champions Trophy has struggled to gain traction. However, a semi-final line-up of England, Australia, India and South Africa promises something we don't see often enough in 50 over cricket: a highly competitive and entertaining tournament.