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Confederations Cup 2017 Tactical Analysis: Germany Vs Chile

Written by: Aakash Verma

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Two footballing titans from different continents are set to clash in the Final of Confederations Cup... 

Chile, who hadn't won anything major before 2015 are now set to have a chance to win their third major title in two years. Germany, on the other hand, started the campaign with most of their star players rested but their youngsters have delivered on the occasion and have shown the depth that Loew's team possesses.

Both teams were in the same group and cruised through the group stage comfortably to reach the semis. Germany who faced Mexico in the semi-finals battered the Latin American side 4-1 and showed that they are as ferocious playing with their kids as they are with their star players.

Also Read: Germany's depth in quality the envy of the football world

Chile faced Portugal in semis after finishing second behind Germany with one win and two draws in the group stage. The Copa America champions had a gruelling game against the European champions, a match which went to penalties, where Chile kept their nerves and beat Portugal 3-0.

FORMATIONS AND TACTICS

 

How Germany attack How Chile Defend
 

 

The world champions mainly play in a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation, with a lot of positional changes happening throughout the tournament. Germany have also rotated their young squad pretty well. 

Arsenal defender Shokdran Mustafi, who did not play against Mexico in the semis might be included in the squad, also Timo Werner will most probably continue in his role as a lone striker. Whereas Joshua Kimmich, Julien Draxler, and Emre Can be in the XI too.

In his 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, Loew sets up his team to play very offensively, creating an overload in midfield in the opposition half. He uses his centre-backs to play the ball from the back to Leon Goretzka, Sebastian Rudy, and Can, who have been used as central midfielders and their main job is to keep the ball and spread it in wide areas for wing-backs, who play more like deep-lying playmakers.

Against Australia, Loew opted for Julian Brandt and Jonas Hector as wing-backs who were pushed further up the field and Rudy was the only player providing the shield to the back three of Kimmich-Mustafi-Rudiger in a 3-5-2 system. 

Loew tinkered and fielded his team in a 3-4-3 formation against Chile, Cameroon and Mexico. Against Chile, Loew opted to play a little more balanced and possession-based game and tried to nullify Chile's dynamism. Using Kimmich and Hector who are more defensive-minded allowed Germany to nullify Chile's threat from the wings and with Draxler and Goretzka linking up with Lars Stindl, caused quite a few problems to Chile's defence in the second half.

Loew played with the same formation against Cameroon and Mexico but with much more vigour in wider areas which allowed their midfield to push further up and create an overload in and around the final third as against Australia. He let Can, Rudy and Goretzka play their passes short and keep hold of the ball to nullify the threat of the counter.

Germany have scored most of their goals from open play and all of have come from the front three.

Juan Antonio Pizzi set up his team in the 4-3-3 formation for the group stages while switching to a 4-4-2 against Portugal in the semis. Chile have a stable back four of Isla, Medel, Jara, and Beausejour.

The South-America  nation has been very astute defensively conceding just two goals so far in the tournament and the inclusion of Pablo Hernandez gives extra cover to Chile's back four.

Chile being a dynamic side depend a whole lot on their pressing game, which allows them to disrupt the game of the opposition and win back the ball.

Hernandez and Diaz allow them to push forward and press while maintaining the shape. But Chile's high intensity play wears off their ageing players as was seen against Germany in the second half of the group stage match which leaves spaces to be exploited by the opposition. Chile's forward players then are forced to track back and help out defensively which hampers their attacking chances .

Also Read: Efficient Germany stifle energetic Chile

How Chile Attack
How Germany Defend
 
 

Chile boasts one of the most spirited sides in football and Juan Antonio Pizzi's men use it to their full advantage. Allowing both full-backs to bombard up and down, and have numbers in the opposition's half. It gives the Chileans opportunity of the quick ball option when in possession and can also press the opposition relentlessly when out of possession. This creates the turbulence and allows the opposition to make mistakes, as was seen against Germany. 

Arturo Vidal in the more attacking role pulls the strings and his telepathic connection with Alexis Sanchez makes the South Americans even more threatening. Eduardo Vargas and Sanchez take charge of either wing, helped my marching full-backs to put in crosses and allowing Vargas and Sanchez to cut in and take their chances. 

Their high-energy, all-out attack football is mostly very eye catching and the number of players that find themselves in goalscoring positions is quite incredible. 

Germany have used different 3-man defensive partnerships in all four games of the Confederations Cup.  

While defending, Germany's 4 man midfield makes the midfield crowded while they're not on the ball. Can sits back in a more defensive role in midfield providing the shield to the back three, which throws into disarray the game of the opposition and forces them to play the ball long and deep to their striker but the presence of Mustafi and Rudiger in defence means Germany have two quick, tall and strong defenders, who can counter that threat. 

Kimmich and Hector do their jobs by maintaining the width and dropping deep while defending to make it more of a 5-man defence. 

 

ANALYSIS


Strengths –

Germany

Germany's tactical astuteness and their ability to match the opposition on the field and nullify their threat is their biggest asset. 

While Die Mannschaft also possess a very good defensive unit who could prove enough to keep the Chilean attacks at bay. Also, their wing-backs are more than a handful as they stretch the play, allowing the German midfielders more space and options to weave their magic.

Chile

Chile's biggest strength is their ability to press the opposition. Their tireless work ethic and pressing off the ball disrupts the opposition's game and allows them a chance to counter-attack. With the likes of Vargas and Sanchez on the wings and their full-backs making runs forward they create an overload in the final third and it helps the midfielders to place themselves in great goalscoring positions. 

Weaknesses – 

Germany

Chile showed in the group stage match that they're very much able to give the world champions a fight as they completely dominated the young German squad with their relentless pressing which caused a mistake to happen from Mustafi and it was enough for Sanchez to give Chile the lead.

Loew has tinkered with his team a little too much and in the Final, it could prove costly, as none of his players are sure of their positions on the field.

Also, having such a young squad who do not have the experience of playing in games as big as this could count against the Germans. 

Also Read: Chile need to be more clinical to prove title credentials

Chile

Chile have a very weary and ageing squad and their energetic style of play does not help their cause. After dominating the first half against the Germans they fell behind as they had run out of gas and did not have enough firepower left to threaten the German defence in any way. Pizzi needs his players to be at their physical best to get the best out of the team.

Germany Key Player: Julian Draxler Chile Key Player: Alexis Sanchez
 

 

He's Germany's most experienced player with 33 caps for the national team, he's also one of only three players who were part of the World Cup-winning squad. Given the captaincy, the PSG man has risen to the occasion and has marshalled his troops quite well so far. He has scored one and assisted one goal so far in the tournament and has created quite a few changes for other forward players.



Chile's success on the field is very largely dependent on Alexis Sanchez. His willingness to give his all for the team, combined with his brilliant footballing abilities makes him Chile's biggest threat. Sanchez was their main man leading them to the Copa America title last year and has the onus again to lead then to their third major title in two years.

 

Published: Sat Jul 01, 2017 06:12 PM IST

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