Germany look to open up lead

A look ahead to Friday night's action in European World Cup Qualifying Group C.

Last Updated: 21/03/13 at 18:11 Post Comment

Joachim Low: Wants his side to build a commanding lead

Joachim Low: Wants his side to build a commanding lead

Germany will hope to take firm control of their World Cup qualifying group as they head into a fixture double-header with Kazakhstan.

Joachim Low's Group C leaders travel to Astana this week before hosting the Kazakhs, who have collected just one point from four games, in Nuremberg next Tuesday.

Their two closest rivals, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, face each other in Stockholm on Friday. Ireland then return to Dublin to play Austria next week while the Swedes are not in action.

The situation could present an opportunity for Germany, even though they have already played a game more than Sweden and Ireland, to open up a significant lead.

The Germans currently have a three-point advantage over Sweden with the Irish a point further back.

Midfielder Thomas Muller told DFB-TV: "We have to win there. For us, six points that we have been targeted."

Sweden, who remarkably fought back from 4-0 down to claim an unlikely point against Germany in Berlin last October, are expected to prove the most likely challengers for top spot.

Germany are due to travel to Sweden in the final round of fixtures in October but captain Philipp Lahm is not thinking ahead to what could prove a shoot-out for top spot.

Lahm told the German Football Association's (DFB) website: "If Sweden win all of their games, then that's how the situation would be.

"But I wouldn't be afraid. Knockout games are always interesting and I see that as a challenge, but we don't need to concern ourselves with Sweden just now.

"We have a few other challenges to overcome and we shouldn't place the second step before the first.

"We are just looking at ourselves and if we perform, then I'm sure our quality will see us through."

Sweden are also focusing on their immediate task with Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland visiting the Friends Arena.

Coach Erik Hamren said: "I think Ireland are a really good team. I am full of respect for them.

"They played in the Euros last summer and if you see the away statistics from Ireland you can see they are a really tough team to beat.

"We are ready, the players are ready and I am ready. It will be a tough game and we need to be really good. We have set our goal to be that good.

"Then we will see what happens. They are only one point behind us. It is a really important game for us both."

While Germany will play on an artificial pitch in Kazakhstan, Sweden and Ireland are likely to play under the Stockholm stadium's retractable roof to combat freezing temperatures.

Trapattoni said: "The next match will obviously be very important for our qualification.

"It will be important to keep in mind there is only one point between us and Sweden in our pool.

"As always every little detail is important to achieve the result.

"Against these strong teams character, technical (ability) and attitude are important."

In the group's other match on Friday, fourth-placed Austria, hoping to keep the pressure on Sweden and Ireland, host the Faroe Islands, the bottom side.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

T

his specializing in mediocrity will only stop when Wenger and his entire back room staff are cleared out. Dortmund are everything Arsenal should be; in fact they're everything Arsenal thought they were, until they met this supreme doppelg nger.

dr soccer
The Bitter Taste Of Arsenal Déjà Vu

D

isgusting. Shambolic. Pathetic. Embarassing. Inept. Below par. Painful. Horrible. Sickening. Frustrating. Wasteful. 11 adjectives to describe the 11 professionals on the pitch. I have never been so frustrated. Losing I can handle, but negligence and years of the same mistake is just becoming a joke now. One that isn't even funny anymore.

mootilated
The Bitter Taste Of Arsenal Déjà Vu

Footer 365

Premier League: Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez battling testicular cancer

Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he has been receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

Champions League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits Dortmund deserved victory

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits his side were 'average' following their 2-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Champions League: Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praises side after Ludogorets win

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised his side's character as they battled to a late 2-1 win over Ludogorets.

Mail Box

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

Who's More Miserable - Baggies Or Mags?

There's not a lot to choose between the misery of West Brom fans and the misery of Newcastle fans. We have mails on them, 'only QPR' and lots on Man United...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property