An enticing clash is on the cards as reigning world champions Germany meet Copa America holders Chile in the Confederations Cup final tonight.
Germany and Chile will meet in Saint Petersburg tonight to battle it out for the Confederations Cup title. Interestingly, this is the first time both teams have ever qualified for a final in this competition and from what we have seen so far over the course of the tournament, it is bound to be a nail-biting final.
The German squad comprises of some of the youngest players in Russia this summer and yet managed to dismantle Mexico 4-1 on Thursday to advance to the final. Chile includes the oldest average team among the eight competing nations and out-classed Portugal during penalties to reach the final.
Over the last couple of years, both Chile and Germany have excelled on their respective ends. Chile are two-time defending Copa America champions after having knocked off Argentina both times to win the trophy. Germany will come into this game with a 14-game unbeaten streak as they prepare for a solid World Cup title defense next year.
Team News and Tactics
Despite bringing in what is being referred to as a second-string youth team, Joachim Low’s players have truly proven that they are here to win. The Germans have no injury concerns and are expected to bring in the same players who have played so far in Russia.
The match-up would have been so different only if Germany brought their full roster, but it’s still a high-profile encounter. Julian Draxler and Joshua Kimmich have made it evident that they are more than just talented youngsters. But, they must be prepared to face a more experienced and physical Chile squad.
In the previous games, Germany have been better off when they are dictating the play and it’ll be interesting to see how much the young players deal with the pressure Chile is bound to apply. The first goal is likely to be critical and captain Draxler should do his best to ensure Timo Werner gets the ball soon enough to capitalize.
Germany will be looking to avoid a penalty shoot-out at all costs since Chile have a massive advantage in that regard, especially after beating Portugal in the semi-final.
Predicted lineup (3-4-2-1): ter Stegen; Ginter, Rudiger, Sule; Kimmich, Goretzka, Rudy, Hector; Stindl, Draxler; Werner
Chile are currently riding a wave of success after their Copa America triumphs in 2015 and 2016. La Roja will be looking for their third international trophy this time as they get set to face a young and relatively inexperienced German squad.
Chile edged past Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal to reach the finals and will need to recover quickly for Sunday’s final. With an average age of 29, the Chile players are a lot older but they didn’t show any signs of it against Portugal.
La Roja dominated the game in the final minutes and appeared a lot stronger than a younger Portugal team during extra time. One might even go to say that Chile are peaking both mentally and tactically at the right time and at the right competition.
Beating the reigning world champions can only mean that they go on to be the best team in the world and that will come as a major boost ahead of the World Cup next year.
What could make or break the team against Germany is their ability to convert their chances and eliminate mistakes in defence since their defence hasn’t been the strongest. Maintaining possession to increase the pressure upon a young German side can benefit Chile and open up opportunities to score.
Predicted lineup (4-4-2): Bravo; Isla, Medel, Jara, Beausejour; Aranguiz, Diaz, Hernández, Vidal; Vargas, Sanchez
- These teams met earlier in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 when Germany and Chile met in the group stage which ended in a draw.
- The Adidas Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer looks likely to end up in Germany, who have three players – Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Lars Stindl – in the running.
- Both teams have enjoyed the taste of success in their individual ways and now it will be the final test to see who overpowers whom.
Germany 3 – 2 Chile
Although there’s a real trend of major tournament finals to go into extra time (for example, the 2016 and 2015 Copa America, 2016 European Championship and even the last 2014 World Cup), this match is likely to end in a high-octane victory for Germany.
Germany are noted experts after 90 minutes while this Chilean team have claimed back-to-back South American championships (both against Argentina) from the spot. On paper, both teams seem equal but ultimately the Germans are likely to have a better edge since often times experience does not prove to be enough.
When equally strong forces like these clash, they tend to neutralize each other. Final matches of big competitions are usually tight and this should be no exception. Having said that, the squad that shows more willingness and hunger shall prevail and in this case, it’s likely to be Germany.