Heavyweights Germany, Chile clash at Confed Cup
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 22, 2017,
Jun 22, 2017, 13:28
"He's a great player, one of the best in the Premier League".
Germany's position atop the sport is nearly unquestioned, and when a manager like Jogi Löw knows the way he wants his teams to play and knows in large part his strongest XI, he can afford to use a tournament like the Confederations Cup to look at new players. The four-time world champions could book their place in the semi-final ahead of schedule with another win.
So, Chile manager Juan Pizzi has an interesting dilemma on his mind, whether to risk his team's best player from the start or introduce him as a super-sub, as he did against Cameroon.
'I hope I can play for many years to come but right now we can achieve a lot.
On the other hand, Germany need to sure up their defence or they could see themselves lose to the South American side. The key to success will be to create pressure, avoid mistakes and play clever balls forward from the back. In North America, the US and Mexico use off year Gold Cup's for exactly the same goal as Germany is using this Confederations Cup: evaluate players at the back end of the pool and see who stands a chance of becoming an important squad player or even more for the bigger games ahead.
The most recent was in 2014 when Mario Goetze's goal sealed a 1-0 friendly win in Stuttgart. They are not top world performers, not yet, but they can be there.
Much had been made before kick-off of Germany bringing a young squad and their starting line-up had just 138 global appearances between them.
Both teams have scored in 5 of Germany's last 6 Confederations Cup matches and in 3 of their last 4 internationals.
I think Chile want this win more than Germany and I think that will make all the deference in this situation.
Chile have been beaten inside 90 minutes in just 1 of their last 14 matches at major tournaments.
Stalwarts such as Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer were left off Low's team, and it will be up to Kimmich and Draxler to push through and be the difference-makers for the defending world champions in the World Cup warm-up.
Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme has withdrawn from the squad with a back injury.
He has not missed a single minute for Germany since featuring from the start in the Euro 2016 Group C encounter with Northern Ireland and Low has nothing but praise for the versatile 22-year-old.