Germany v Mexico: Werner's eyes on the prize as El Tri aim to start on time

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Timo Werner insists Germany only have eyes for Confederations Cup glory, even if head coach Joachim Low has used the competition to blood a host of fringe and younger players.

The world champions have remained in Sochi after finishing top of Group B and will tackle Mexico at Fisht Stadium in the tournament's second semi-final on Thursday.

RB Leipzig forward Werner opened his account at international level with a brace in the 3-1 win over 10-man Cameroon last time out.

The match also represented a 100th win with Die Mannschaft for Low, and Werner and his playing colleagues will leave looking at the bigger picture to their vastly experienced boss.

"Mexico are going to be a very difficult opponent, we have to give it our utmost but, of course, we're not here to say, 'well, it's good enough if we get third place or make the final'; we want to win this tournament," said the 21-year-old, who scored 21 Bundesliga goals last season.

"The Confederations Cup is a huge opportunity and experience for us young players. It's the first time we get a glimpse of what it means to be at a big tournament.

"Of course, the World Cup is something else, but this is a huge experience and I haven't heard anyone complaining about it.

"We're all looking forward to these matches and we have this great team spirit, we know we need to meet the challenge and are looking forward to the semi-final."

Low is expected to restore Lars Stindl to the starting XI, the Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder having sat out against Cameroon on the back of a goal in each of the opening two matches versus Australia and Chile.

Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is also a good bet to return to the defence, whether Low elects for a back three or a back four, and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen will start after goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke confirmed Germany's keeper rotation policy for their post-season fixtures was now at an end.

The challenge for Mexico is to start a game in the manner they have customarily been finishing them in Russia.

El Tri needed an injury-time leveller from Hector Moreno to snatch a 2-2 draw against Portugal in their first game, while the 2-1 victories against New Zealand and Russia each came after they fell behind twice more.

"Our first-half performances are a problem for us," defender Nestor Araujo told FIFA.com. "We're finding it hard to get into games and because of that we've really struggled at the start.

"We should give ourselves some credit, though, because that's four games in a row now where we've come from behind. It all comes down to our mindset."

Although head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is a famed proponent of the rotation system, Mexico should be relatively more settled in comparison to the team that saw off Russia, with Javier Hernandez set to lead the attack once more, while the eight changes that almost preceded embarrassment against New Zealand would surely be a stretch at this stage of the competition.

Key Opta stats
- Mexico have won just one of their previous 10 meetings with Germany (W1 D5 L4) - this came in a 2-0 friendly match in Mexico City back in June 1985.
- This will be the first meeting between Germany and Mexico since the 2005 edition of the Confederations Cup. The host nation won 4-3 after extra time in the third-place play-off.
- Germany are currently unbeaten in 13 successive internationals (W10 D3 L0), since last losing against host nation France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals (0-2).
- Mexico have lost just one of their last 16 games in all competitions (W11 D4 L1) and are unbeaten in their last six (W4 D2 L0).
- German midfielder Julian Draxler created the most goalscoring chances in the group stages of the 2017 Confederations Cup (10).
- Both Germany and Mexico scored and failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their three group stages matches in this tournament.