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article imageWorld Cup Qualifying: Germany vs Kazakhstan Preview

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 26, 2013 in Sports
Nuremberg - When Team Germany takes to the pitch today in Nuernberg against Kazakhstan, Die Mannschaft courts an impressive five point lead in UEFA Group C, with 13 points over second place Sweden. Germany defeated Kazakhstan 3-0 in Astana on Friday.
With goals by Schweinsteiger and Goetze, two minutes apart in the first half and another by Thomas Mueller before full time, Germany won its fourth of five group games in World Cup 2014 qualifying. Germany tops Group C with 13 points, ahead of Sweden with eight points, with an 18-6 goal difference.
There will be some changes from Friday's lineup, with Bastian Schweinsteiger serving a one game suspension after a yellow card in Friday's game, Mario Gomez and Hoewedes have withdrawn due to injury. Joachim Loew called up two young players, Gladbach's Patrick Herrmann and Wolfsburg's Marcell Jansen.
During Friday's game Mario Goetze, a midfielder by trade, occupied the role of the striker and Team DFB will be playing without a recognizable striker once again, but Joachim Loew made the point, during a press conference, that there will always be a need for a striker.
"It’s entirely not the case that I’m abolishing the use of strikers in this team. In modern international football, teams have become more organized and more solid defensively, The spaces on the pitch are smaller and you have less time on the ball. For that reason, you will always need a striker who can run between the lines, stretch defenses and shoot well. It just so happens that we have players like Mario Götze or Mesut Özil who are capable of doing the job."
Ilkay Grundogan will take up the spot left vacant by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jogi Loew has several options with players that could take up the striker role. He could go with Dortmund's Mario Goetze, who was successful in Friday's game, Real Madrid's Mesut Oezil, or Bayern's Thomas Mueller. Anyone of those players could fill the role.
Loew will obviously do some experimenting. The DFB Team has considerable strength on the bench and its back four with Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng and Jansen is solid. Grundogan will be playing next to Real Madrid's Sam Khadeira.
The danger for the German side is complacency. After dominating the match in Astana, Germany's motivation should be there to try to get an eight point lead in Group C. Second placed Sweden won't be playing until June.
A victory is what will be expected from the DFB Team. Nothing less will do. Should there be a resurgence of Kazakhstan it would be a surprise.
Possible lineup:
Germany: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Mertesacker, Jansen - Khedira, Gündogan - Müller, Özil, Reus – Götze
Kazakhstan:
Sidelnikov - Engel, Logvinenko, Dmitrenko, Kirov - Nurdauletov, Bogdanov - Konysbaev, Khayrullin, Schmidtgal - Ostapenko
More about World Cup 2014, Group C, Germany, DFB Team, Kazakhstan
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