Joachim Löw to field a settled Germany side against Ireland
Lukas Podolski the world champion’s only injury concern ahead of Thursday’s fixture
Lukas Podolski is Germany manager Joachim Löw’s only injury concern ahead of Thursday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland. Photograph: PA
Germany manager Joachim Löw has said he expects to field a fairly settled side for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland in the Aviva Stadium tomorrow night. With Lucas Podolski Germany’s only injury worry, the world champions arrive in Dublin fully expecting to obtain the point that will see them though to next summer’s tournament in France.
“There will be no too many changes. The team played very well in the two games against Poland and Scotland in September so while I am thinking about the odd position, you can take it for granted that there will not be many changes.”
Much of the German press conference was taken up with the fallout from Sunday’s Bundesliga game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Bayern gave Dortmund a 5-1 hiding, with much of the post-match coverage focussing on Dortmund captain Mats Hummels appearing criticising his teammates in a post-match interview. For Löw, it meant a pre-match press event where the qualifier itself got precious little mention.
“This a bit of an unusual pre-match phase in that most of my players played last Sunday with Bayern against Dortmund, Arsenal against Manchester United and on top of that, a lot of them played games in midweek as well. That of course has its knock-on effects on the tiredness of players. So when I look at them, I can see in their eyes that they need some days of regeneration, which is exactly what I gave them.
“We split them into two training groups and resolved with the training staff only to have one regular training session today, which I hope - and am convinced - will suffice for us to come away with a good performance. We know what is at stake but all our players are fit, with the exception of Lukas Podolski. ”
Tired or not, you wouldn’t say the Germans look particularly racked with worry at what they will face at the Aviva. Löw and his captain Mats Hummels referenced the expected passion from the crowd off the pitch and robust physical exchanges on it but overall, this is a brief pit stop to them. If the notion that they might lose has entered their head, they weren’t letting on.
“I believe it will be the same as against Scotland,” said Hummels. “I expect a big atmosphere in the ground. It will be a passionate support and a passionate team. They will try to impress us with their physical robustness - I remember some fiery one-on-ones in Gelsenkirchen. Obviously we will have a lot of the possession, this is natural. But we will have to be careful not to get caught on the counter.”