Germany vs. Chile
Date and Time: Thursday, June 22, 2017, 2 p.m. ET
Location: Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia
Soccer Odds: Germany +140, O/U 2.5
Germany vs. Chile TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
Joachim Low has made it clear that the Confederations Cup is more about learning about his younger squad players than anything else. He left home so many of his veterans for this younger team, and winning 3-2 over Australia will very likely put the team in a position to learn some valuable lessons.
Closing out matches is going to be crucial. Sure, Australia never broke through, but against lesser teams, the way that Germany defender after making the lead 3-1 won't cut it.
There is going to have to be a crucial decision made at some point about the goaltending situation as well. Bernd Leno was awful in this match. He's the keeper for Bayer Leverkusen, so this shouldn't theoretically be too big of a moment for him. But Barcelona reserve keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is waiting in the wings and has the greater experience of the two net minders, and we wouldn't be shocked to see him installed at some point as the keeper if Leno's struggles keep up.
For our money, Chile was the best team in the first match day of this eight-team tournament. Sure, it took 81 minutes for Arturo Vidal and the Chileans to get on the board against Cameroon, but there never really felt like a moment in this match, even when it was scoreless late on, that they weren't going to finish the job and get the three points.
Alexis Sanchez was a one-man wrecking crew out of the midfield for Chile as he has shown to be so many times in top tournaments. This is a much better team he's going to be up against than when he torched the Indomitable Lions, but the concept should be the same. He's a man who can invent in the midfield all by himself, and that makes him the most dangerous player in this entire tournament not named Cristiano Ronaldo.
1 – The number of shots on target Cameroon had against Chile.
What has earned Chile consecutive Copa America titles is the fact that it has always been able to find a way to come up with big defensive matches when they've been needed the most. Goodness knows that CONMEBOL is one of the most offense-based confederations in the world, and there is no such thing as an easy match in South America, particularly away from home.
Just the fact that the Chileans made it through Copa America Centenario with five goals allowed, including blanking Argentina, Colombia and Mexico in the knockout rounds, was sterling and tells you all you need to know. Claudio Bravo is a deserving captain for this team and is one of the all-time greats of Chilean soccer.
Germany vs. Chile Free Picks
For our money, it's a joke that this Chile side is an underdog in this match to Germany. Julian Draxler and the rest of the young Germans are all fine players in their own right, but they're not the men who Low will be calling upon in the World Cup for sure next year. We're not so sure we wouldn't fancy this Chilean team against the "senior" Germans as well.
Sanchez and Vidal have been playing lights out at the front of the pitch, and that has allowed a very experienced back line to hold shape and try to force as much to the outside of the formation as possible. We suspect this German team is going to have a tough time on Thursday, and it'll show on the final scoreboard.
Germany vs. Chile Soccer Pick: Chile +170 at BookMaker.eu
Germany vs. Chile Score Prediction: Chile 2, Germany 0