Turkey, Belgium, Squad, Notes and Records
It’s time to close out Germany’s Euro 2012 qualification campaign. On Friday Germany will take on Turkey in Istanbul, with the crowd facing the tough task to boo Mesut Özil even more so than the hostile crowd in Berlin. Germany will then play Belgium in Düsseldorf on Tuesday.
Here is who got nominated alongside Mesut Özil:
Goal: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defense: Dennis Aogo (Hamburger SV), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Christian Träsch (Wolfsburg)
Midfield: Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schürrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Attack: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Cacau (VfB Stuttgart)
Germany’s performances in games that didn’t matter were lackluster and erratic recently. With Belgium and Turkey both fighting for second place in the group, there is a danger of Germany leaving a bitter aftertaste on the outcome. Jogi Löw’s way of trying to prevent that is by targeting the unique record – for the German national team that is – of winning a perfect 10 out of 10 Euro qualification matches.
Whether that’s enough to motivate players in the midst of their club season and with difficult Champions League fixtures looming large remains to be seen.
Miroslav Klose at least will be very motivated to get on the score sheet as he targets Gerd Müller’s goalscoring record of 68 goals. He is currently 6 goals short. Yet, if he indeed does break the record, he’ll have needed close to or more than twice as many matches than Gerd Müller. A triumph of endurance over class?
The fight for a spot in the starting XI between Andre Schürrle and Lukas Podolski probably should also bode well for another motivated player in the line-up, with Lukas Podolski in particular looking to be in excellent form at the moment.
Marco Reus should be very motivated to not pick up any injuries in the run-up to the games, as we could finally (finally!) see him debut for the team. Toni Kroos is down with the flu and seems to be a definite doubt for the game against Turkey.
Not a debut, but a comeback could be in sight for the good old 4-4-2, which Jogi Löw might try out, following his rather unstable experiment with a 4-1-4-1.
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