World Cup champions Germany take on Mexico in the second semi-final of the Confederations Cup. Both teams endured similar runs in the group stage with two wins and a draw to note. Despite this, there is a vast difference in international experience with Mexico possessing the likes of Rafael Marquez and Andres Guadrado, who have a combined 279 caps between them – more than the entire German squad.
Joachim Loew’s side were initially predicted to struggle with a squad possessing 19 players who have 15 or less caps for the national side. Despite this, they have shone in the tournament with forwards Timo Werner and Lars Stindl opening their goalscoring accounts for their country. The centre defensive department has looked a bit shaky despite recognisable faces in the form of Antonio Rudiger and Shkodran Mustafi, and they will have to guard against any silly mistakes versus El Tri.
Mexico, on the other hand, possess a far experienced lineup with stars like Javier Hernandez and Giovanni dos Santos approaching the 100-cap landmark with the nation. Mexico have not had a single player stand out with their performance, and this may have been hindered by a break in between where Juan Carlos played a second-string XI in the win over New Zealand.
Players to watch out for:
Lars Stindl (Germany): The Borussia Monchengladbach skipper has finally landed his chance to impress following years of perseverance at club level. Stindl bagged his first two goals of the campaign in the games against Australia and Chile before he was rested for the final game of the group. The 28-year-old has been clinical when called upon, and he could provide the cutting edge against an experienced Mexico squad, which does not always live to its hype.
Javier Hernandez (Mexico): Manager Carlos recently dismissed suggestions that Mexico are a one-man team after Hirving Lozano bagged the winner in the 2-1 win over Russia. Hernandez is the heartthrob of the nation, and there will always be a huge expectation on his shoulders to produce the goods. With 48 goals to his name, Hernandez will provide the major threat for El Tri, who are looking to reach their first Confederations Cup final since 1999, where they won the title on their home turf.
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