Football

Germany brace themselves for Chile test

Young German side will know where they stand after clash with Copa America champions

 

GROUP B
GERMANY CHILE

Germany and Chile clash for control of Group B at the Confederations Cup tomorrow morning (Singapore time) with Die Mannschaft's coach Joachim Loew talking up the South American champions.

"They have shown in the past few years that they belong to the elite of world football," said German boss Loew ahead of the encounter in Kazan, Russia.

"Chile have fantastic individual players and are flexible tactically like few other teams, they can switch things around several times during a match."

Both teams have three points with Chile ahead on goal difference after their 2-0 win over Cameroon and Germany's 3-2 victory against Australia.

Loew, having rested all of his World Cup-winning stars, will match his young guns against an experienced Chile team which won both the 2015 and 2016 Copa America titles.

Both sides are among the favourites, along with European champions Portugal, to win the Confederations Cup.

Not only will Chile provide a stern test for the 2014 World Cup winners, Germany midfielder Julian Brandt also feels that the South Americans will provide a good gauge of his team's ability.

"It will be even more intense (than the first match against Australia). They are one of the best sides in the world. Then we will see where we are really at."

Chile's Edson Puch, who started in place of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez against Cameroon, is also keen to use the German assignment to assess his team's potential.

He said: "They are the team that will give us a good idea of what we can accomplish here."

Regardless of their inexperience - the entire Germany squad had just 149 caps among them - Chilean midfielder Marcelo Diaz said facing the world champions requires a certain mindset.

"In order to play them, we need to be psychologically prepared, at your best, and we are," said the Celta Vigo man. "Our mentality is one of our biggest achievements of this team."

Loew changed his goalkeeper in each of his last three games and Germany's shot-stopper Bernd Leno could lose his place having leaked two goals against Australia.

Chile's Arturo Vidal opened the scoring against Cameroon and he is set to face three Bayern Munich teammates in Joshua Kimmich, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Suele.

Likewise, Arsenal teammates Shkodran Mustafi and Sanchez could line up against each other.

Germany have won all four meetings between the countries in the last 40 years.

The most recent was in 2014 when Mario Goetze's goal sealed a 1-0 friendly win in Stuttgart.

Meanwhile, Australia will play Cameroon in St Petersburg tonight with both teams knowing they can ill afford another loss.

Said Cameroon coach Hugo Broos: "Australia play with a lot of fighting spirit and I expect a difficult game against a team with a different style to Chile.

"We will have to be at our top level, because if we lose, we are done at this tournament." - WIRE SERVICES

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