Germany will hit top form in crucial qualifiers, says Loew
30 March 2015, 13:20
Berlin - World Cup winners Germany will be at their best when they take on Euro 2016 qualifying rivals Poland, Scotland and Ireland later this year after their current period of experimentation, coach Joachim Loew has said.
The Germans drew 2-2 in a friendly against Asian champions Australia on Wednesday before a 2-0 victory at Georgia in a Euro qualifier on Sunday.
While easing past the Georgians to stay on track for qualification, Germany missed a string of chances again as they struggled with their finishing.
Loew, who has extended his contract recently to 2018, has said he wants to tinker with his team that won the World Cup last year to make it more flexible and adaptable to different opponents.
A three-man defence and more attacking fullbacks have been two of his experiments, with the coach also trying to find a good mix of youth and experience after the departure of three key players following the World Cup and the return of several long-term absentees, including Marco Reus, Ilkay Guendogan and Holger Badstuber.
He has also announced more young players in the squad from September onwards.
"We now have a test in the summer against the United States and there I can still try some things out," Loew said of their June 10 friendly before they face Gibraltar in a qualifier three days later.
"After that our forces will then be very focused for our games in September, October and November."
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Germany, who have 10 points along with Scotland, with Poland a point ahead to top Group D, host the Poles and travel to Scotland on Sept. 4 and 7 respectively,
They take on Ireland, who are on eight points, on Oct. 8.
"Experience shows that at that time we are always in much better form because we have the chance to be longer together as a group, to play matches and train," Loew said. "In the second half of the year we are always better."
While Germany are expected to qualify for the tournament in France, Loew is delighted to have Reus back and in goal-scoring form following a string of injuries last year, with the speedy winger on target in both games.
"He had a lot of bad luck in the past months and used a lot of strength and energy to come back. Our game is more versatile when he is playing and also much more dangerous."