Thursday, July 20, 2017

Draxler urges Germany not to be ´caught off balance´ by Chile

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jul 2017

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Germany must avoid the sluggish start they made in their previous match against Chile if they are to claim Confederations Cup glory, according to captain Julian Draxler.

The world champions stormed into Sunday’s final in St Petersburg despite head coach Joachim Low resting a number of key players for the tournament in Russia.

A vibrant, youthful line-up have plundered 11 goals across four matches, with the only blot on their campaign a 1-1 draw against La Roja in Kazan, where Alexis Sanchez put the Copa America holders ahead in a rampant opening.

Lars Stindl’s second goal in as many matches brought Germany level four minutes before half-time and Draxler, Die Mannschaft’s captain in Manuel Neuer’s absence, expects to see an improved display at Krestovsky Stadium.

“I believe the match will bear no resemblance whatsoever to the group-stage match,” the Paris Saint-Germain star told a pre-match news conference. “We didn’t deliver our best match.

“The first 15 minutes, we were caught off balance and that’s why we didn’t win.

“We need 90 and up to 120 minutes of our best performance to prevail. But we have grown over the course of the matches to the final.

“We know Chile are an excellent opponent with excellent players. I’m pretty certain that we will have to muster our utmost.”

Draxler has been afforded an attacking role with ample freedom throughout the Confederations Cup, starting nominally on the left of a front three but with license to roam across the midfield and forward positions.

The 23-year-old is Germany’s most experienced international at the tournament and has revelled in Low selecting him as the side’s creative hub.

“Given the fact I’m the one that already has the highest number of caps it was the case that I tried to assume a lot of responsibility,” Draxler explained.

“I have a different role to last year, when I was playing outside left. The coach certainly has put his trust in me and I’m trying to help wherever I can.

“The players around me have really put in the legwork to give me security. I think we all have done a great job and we hope to do that again in the final.”

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