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Injuries mount, but Germans target win in Poland

09 October 2014, 20:52

Berlin - Despite a mounting injury list, world champions Germany are targeting three points against Poland in Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Warsaw to go top of their group.

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil was the latest Germany star to drop out on Wednesday having partially torn his cruciate knee ligament, which will sideline him for up to 12 weeks.

Coach Joachim Loew is already without captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Benedikt Hoewedes, Marco Reus and Mario Gomez.

Germany also host the Republic of Ireland in Gelsenkirchen in a qualifier next Tuesday.

Both midfielders Julian Draxler and Andre Schuerrle are now expected to be fit for Friday's flight to Warsaw after a bout of flu and a muscle injury respectively.

Loew is also in the process of rebuilding his defence after veterans Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker retired following the World Cup win in Rio de Janeiro, but the Germans want three points at Warsaw's National Stadium to take control of their group.

"His injury is a bitter blow for us and for Mesut, but it doesn't change the fact that our target remains to win the game in Warsaw," said Germany's assistant coach Thomas Schneider.

Also read: Podolski brushes off Arsenal frustrations

"Poland are the sort of team who will put up a fight, they have good technical players, they have evolved and are more compact.

"They are certainly a team who will require a lot from us."

Poland have never beaten Germany in 18 matches and the sides enjoyed a goalless draw in Hamburg in May's dull pre-World Cup friendly.

A 2-1 win against Scotland in their opening Group D game last month means Germany are unbeaten in 18 competitive internationals with 16 wins and two draws, but Poland top the table D by virtue of their 7-0 drubbing of Gibraltar.

Loew's Germany has not lost in 33 qualifiers with 29 wins and four draws dating back to a 3-0 defeat by the Czech Republic in October 2007.

Bayern Munich's star striker Robert Lewandowski will lead Poland's attack and will be up against his Bavarian team-mates with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stepping in as Germany captain and Thomas Mueller leading the German attack.

"It will be a different type of game," Lewandowski told German broadcaster Sport1.

"Germany are the big favourites, not just in the group, but for the European title.

"But we're playing in Poland, we will play well there and we want to be an unpleasant opponent.

"Perhaps we can show them something new, some new tactics and surprise the Germans."



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