Germany ready for testing times in qualifiers

Germany ready for testing times in qualifiers

Germany’s general manager, Oliver Bierhoff, is expecting the next few weeks to be a huge test for the world champions.

The World Cup winners face Poland in Warsaw on Saturday before hosting the Republic of Ireland four days later in Gelsenkirchen.

And last month’s narrow 2-1 win over Scotland has convinced Bierhoff that tricky times are ahead.

“When you are world champions, the expectations are higher and your opponents’ motivation is greater to beat us,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

“We’re expecting a difficult October with some uncomfortable games.”

Germany are still in transition following the retirements of Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is also missing through injury, but in spite of all adversity, Bierhoff is still demanding the very best.

“We want a successful October with two wins,” he said. “We want to take another step forwards and keep the team on their toes.”

Poland forward Robert Lewandowski is one man looking to throw a spanner in the works and beat his Bayern Munich team-mate Manuel Neuer this Saturday.

“Robert is one of the best forwards in the world,” said goalkeeper Neuer. “We’re going to have to pay attention to him.

“But I know him and I’ve got through many a training session without conceding a goal to him.

“It’s important that we build on the three points we won against Scotland, but we’re expecting a tough game in Warsaw.”

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