German colts brace for red hot Chile in final
A young German side will be out to send a statement of intent when they play Chile in the final of the Confederations Cup 2017 at the Saint Petersburg Arena in Moscow on Sunday.
Bereft of their biggest stars, Die Mannschaft have cantered to the final even as their U-21 compatriots have lifted the European Championship in Poland and Germany looks like the team to beat a year before the 2018 World Cup.
While Chile may not boast of a deep reservoir of talent like Germany can, they have some world-class players in their team and La Roja are on equal footing going into this final with the smallest of margins separating the sides.
Chile's win against Portugal wasn't pretty, but then again, neither were their past two Copa America triumphs.
La Roja simply have a winning mentality ingrained in them and nobody in Chile is complaining as they are in sight of their third international trophy in as many years.
With Arturo Vidal pulling the strings in midfield and Alexis Sanchez wreaking havoc up top, there is plenty going for Juan Pizzi's side. While the two high-profile players certainly are the biggest threats, Chile are so much more than Vidal and Sanchez. Eduardo Vargas is a hard-working mobile striker, while Jean Beausejour and Mauricio Isla have acquitted themselves well on either flank and Claudio Bravo is arguably in the form of his life after his penalty heroics against Portugal in the semi-finals.
Their profligacy against Portugal, however, an area which has to be worked upon for a ruthless side like Germany will make them pay dearly for every miss.
On the other hand, tt all seems to be falling in place for Germany, but Joachim Low has seen this before. While the 2014 World Cup was Low's crowning achievement, Die Mannschaft have often impressed early on in a major tournament only to somehow miss out in the final stages.
For this young group of footballers, there is more on the line than a 'simple' title, for their performances now will augur them in good stead when Low decides his squad for the 2018 World Cup.
The likes of Leon Goretzka, Lars Stindl and Timo Werner have all impressed in the route to the final, but will they be able to combine to beat Chile on their second attempt? Chile's attack, led by Sanchez, is quite formidable and with Germany yet to keep a clean sheet in the tournament, that could be an area where Die Mannschaft come undone. Agencies