Germany boss Joachim Low has confirmed that Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start against Chile but has ruled out wholesale changes for their second Confederations Cup match.
Bernd Leno came in for heavy criticism for his performance in the opening 3-2 win over Australia, the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper allowing Tom Rogic’s shot to slip through his grasp before fumbling the ball into the path of Tomi Juric for the Socceroos’ second.
Leno will be replaced by Barcelona’s Ter Stegen for Thursday’s encounter in Kazan but Low insists that the decision had been pre-planned.
“What I said is that I’ll try to give every player a chance. It depends on the matches and the situation on the pitch,” he told a news conference.
“I don’t think it’s only about winning and choosing players for the next game. It’s about getting a structure in place. I want to have a certain flexibility and other players who are not playing need to gain experience.
“It doesn’t make sense to make seven changes for Chile but three or four might change. Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal; that’s already been decided.
“Chile are a team who are much more flexible, compared to many other teams. They are unpredictable. Many of the players can score goals. You have a constant change of players showing up in the box. You can’t really determine exactly where which player will be. That is their strength.
“They have a strong attitude and they are focused on winning. We’ve been watching them for a while. They’re one of the most flexible teams in the world.”
Low disagrees with the assessment that Chile are an overly-aggressive side but pointed to midfield star Arturo Vidal, who scored the opener in a 2-0 victory against Cameroon in their first game, as one of the biggest threats to Germany at Kazan Arena.
“I’m not sure Chile are unfair in the way they play,” he said. “They like to tackle and are very strong – Arturo Vidal is a case in point – but all their players are good in one-on-one [situations].
“I believe the team are prepared mentally, as well. What’s most important is that we remain alert for 90 minutes. They get beyond the defensive line and there can be six or seven in the area. It’s important to do the leg work and not let other people get away with the ball.
“Their first goal [against Cameroon], Vidal took a ball, it went to the wingers and suddenly the person who was further behind on the pitch was the one scoring the goal.”