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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Sanchez return makes Chile and Germany hard to separate

Low's men need to tighten up at the back

Alexis Sanchez celebrates Chile's Copa America win
1 of 1

Confederations Cup Group B
ITV4, 7pm
Germany and Chile did what was expected of them by winning their opening matches at the Confederations Cup and they can stay in control of the qualification picture by sharing the spoils in Kazan.

Both can improve, though, after their opening performances.

Joachim Low left several experienced players out of the German squad and his team's performance in Monday's 3-2 victory over Australia left plenty of room for improvement.

Germany just about deserved the victory – they won the shot count 18 to ten - but against a better team their poor defending could have cost them.

Low will be looking for his team to tighten up at the back because they face a big step up in class against a Chile side reinforced by the returning Alexis Sanchez.

The Arsenal man – still short of peak fitness as he works his way back from an ankle complaint – was left out of the starting line up for La Roja's clash against Cameroon.

However, he came off the bench in the 58th minute with the score at 0-0 and turned the game by setting up goals for Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas which sealed the Chileans a 2-0 success.

On the balance of the match it was a deserved victory but Chile were far from watertight at the back and will have to show better concentration and application if they are to negate a Germany side whose strength is in attacking areas.

Borussia Monchengladbach striker Lars Stindl was handed only his third cap against the Socceroos but took just five minutes to find the net and is sure to have gained in confidence.

Alternatively, Low can call on Sandro Wagner, who has scored three goals in three internationals, or Timo Werner – scorer of 21 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season.

Germany should continue to score plenty of goals but their largely second-string backline is not to be trusted against a high-quality attack such as Chile's and they may have to settle for a high-scoring draw.

1pt 13-5 bet365, Hills, Sky Bet
2-2 correct score
1pt 11-1 Hills, Sky Bet

Team news
No fresh injuries have been reported.

Alexis Sanchez was carrying an ankle injury before the start of the tournament but came off the bench in the first match and is likely to start against Germany. Edson Puch is the most likely to make way.

Key stat
Germany are unbeaten in their last 11 fixtures.

Both teams have room for improvement after far from perfect opening performances
E.W. Terms
Sky bet