Saturday 21 October 2017

Spanish model on Loew's mind

Germany coach Joachim Loew has no plans to get rid of the national team's strikers, but believes the deployment of offensive midfielders adds versatility to their game.

Speaking ahead of tonight's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan, Loew said he had not yet decided how he would set up his team.

"It is not that I want to get rid of strikers," Loew said. "I merely said that it is good if your opponent does not have to prepare always against just one player type."

"Obviously, we are happy to have (strikers) Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose in the team."

Loew has been experimenting without a designated striker for some time after their semi-final loss to Italy at Euro 2012.

Spain set a new standard after winning that tournament, having played several matches without a traditional forward.

Loew, who has said shorter midfielders could be more dangerous up front than physically big strikers, has yet to decide whether to start with Gomez, the only forward left after Klose's injury, or pick the diminutive Mario Goetze.

Germany top Group C on 10 points from four games, with Sweden in second on seven from three matches. They are looking to beat Kazakhstan tonight and at home on Tuesday to maintain their lead in the group.

"I have not forgotten that the last time (against Kazakhstan during the Euro 2012 qualifiers) it was 0-0 at half-time," he said.

"We have no fear, but we respect the Kazakhs. They are physically strong and very motivated."

Irish Independent

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