Joachim Löw says he's considering changes, but not a wholesale revamp for Germany's Confederations Cup game against bookmakers' favorites Chile. One of those changes is to be between the sticks.
German head coach Joachim Löw told his Confederations Cup squad before the tournament that every player who made the journey to Russia would take to the pitch. While he intends to stick to this, Löw told reporters in Kazan on Wednesday that it "would not make sense to make seven or eight changes, but three or four are quite conceivable."
"[Jonas] Hector, [Joshua] Kimmich, [Shkodran] Mustafi, [Julian] Draxler will play," Löw said. "It is important to have a spine, other players can orientate themselves around that."
However, Löw did confirm one alteration from the shaky 3-2 win against Australia.
"Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal, we decided on that a couple of days ago," the coach said.
He may have saved a Lionel Messi penalty, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen has his own haunting memories in German colors
Asked about the prospect of winning his 100th game since taking over as national team head coach from Jürgen Klinsmann in 2006, Löw made no promises.
"I consider 100 wins to be better than 100 defeats," he joked. "It will come at some point."
Tough test against Vidal, Sanchez and friends
Yet Thursday's game isn't the easiest opportunity for the German coach to gun for a century of victories. The bookmakers regard back-to-back Copa America winners Chile as the favorites, no doubt in part because of Löw's decision to leave many of his stars back home.
"Chile is without a doubt one of the world's best teams," Löw said. "They have a winning mentality. They're used to playing together. They have outstanding individual talent and a tactical flexibility that few other teams can boast."
Löw said he had observed the squad's development keenly in recent years.
"They have an incredible attacking impetus. Players are constantly switching positions. The way Chile play is pure class; we will need to be wide awake for the full 90 minutes."
Chile with a point to prove
Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal is among Chile's crucial water carriers.
"Our sole goal is to win the cup," Vidal said. "We want to show that winning the Copa America twice was no fluke."
Julian Draxler, the 23-year-old captain of Löw's youthful squad, voiced optimism ahead of the Chile test, albeit acknowledging the weaknesses on display against the Socceroos.
"You could see against Australia that we were lacking a little experience regarding how to play smart and get through a game like that. But we will improve over the course of the next few games - and that will be necessary against Chile," the Paris Saint-Germain attacking midfielder said.
Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka - arguably the standout player against Australia - said that the squad was "full of anticipation" ahead of a rather bigger test.
"The point of this tournament is to test yourself against teams like this," the Schalke star said.