Germany v Chile: Low wants improvement against 'top-class' Copa America holders
Germany boss Joachim Low is happy that his side have plenty to improve upon as they prepare to face Chile in their second Confederations Cup match.
The World Cup holders saw off Australia 3-2 in Sochi to move into second place in Group B, with Chile leading the way on goal difference following their 2-0 win over Cameroon.
A youthful Germany side were certainly the dominant force against the Socceroos and could have made the scoreline more flattering had they been more clinical, while a poor performance from goalkeeper Bernd Leno helped their opponents snatch their two goals.
But Low is taking it as a positive that Germany have not yet reached their best ahead of a meeting of the teams ranked third and fourth in the world in Kazan.
"It is definitely a good thing that not everything went well. Now we know what we need to work on," Low said.
"Chile are definitely one of the best teams in the world. They have fantastic individual quality and are very versatile tactically in a way that most teams are not. They can change things up easily during a match. The players know where to make the runs and have incredible power going forward. They are an absolute top-class team."
Chile dispatched Cameroon in relatively routine fashion in Moscow and a third win in eight attempts against Germany would put them on the brink of a semi-final spot.
Juan Antonio Pizzi's side enjoyed 62 per cent of the possession in their opening game and restricted Cameroon to one shot on target, and midfielder Marcelo Diaz believes a similar level of control on the ball will be key to their chances on Thursday.
"We know that Germany play with a very set style. Adapting will be key in this game. Whoever controls the ball will dominate," said the Celta Vigo man.
"I played in Germany and I know very well what they're about. It will be tough."
Chile will hope to have Alexis Sanchez fully fit to start after the Arsenal star came on as a second-half substitute against Cameroon as part of his recovery from an ankle problem.
Kevin Trapp and Marc-Andre ter Stegen could be battling for a starting spot for Germany if Low decides not to keep faith with the under-fire Leno.
Key Opta Stats:
– This will be the eighth meeting between these sides; there has never been a draw in matches between the two, with Germany winning five of the previous seven games, and Chile winning two.
– Germany haven't conceded a first-half goal against Chile in any of their last five clashes, leading 1-0 at half-time in each of those games.
– Germany's next defeat will be their 50th in competitive football; they've lost two of their three games against South American opposition in the Confederations Cup (both v Brazil), drawing the other (v Argentina).
– However, Germany are unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions (W9, D2), conceding just four goals in that run.
– Three of Germany's last five goals have been assisted by Joshua Kimmich, including Leon Goretzka's 48th-minute goal against Australia, in Germany's opening game.
– No player attempted more shots in the opening round of fixtures in this year's Confederations Cup than Goretzka, who hit seven in total; the German midfielder also made the most tackles of any player (6).
– Arturo Vidal scored the opening goal of Chile's Confederations Cup campaign and now has three goals in his last four games for his country.
– Gonzalo Jara was the only player in the opening round of fixtures to make 100+ successful passes; the Chilean defender completed 115 of his 126 attempted passes (91 per cent).