Germany coach Joachim Low has admitted that the mood in the world champions’ camp is less than "brilliant" as they seek to make amends for Saturday’s European Championship qualifier loss to Poland in Warsaw.
However, there was no sign of anything approaching panic from Löw as he revealed that there will be few changes to the side that fell to that surprise 2-0 Group D defeat for tonight’s encounter with Ireland.
“The mood in the camp, it can’t be brilliant, can it? I’ve talked to the players and they are open to criticism and know full well that they wasted far too many scoring opportunities. It’s a given that we have to decide the game and come home with a win.
“Fury or anger are the wrong words,” he added. “We are determined, we really badly want these three points against Ireland, but there is no such thing as incredible disappointment. That would be wrong to say.”
Germany were hit by a succession of injuries to key players — Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira among them — prior to this double header, but the rate of casualties has slowed down to a trickle.
Still, another midfielder, Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer, has been ruled out tonight due to a stomach bug rather than the hip injury which bothered him at the weekend.
Löw name-checked Hoffenheim’s Sebastian Rudy and Matthias Ginter of Borussia Dortmund as possible replacements while the local area’s rising star, Schalke 04’s Julian Drexler, may also start, after only coming off the bench in Poland due to a virus.
With Germany also short of strikers, Low did intimate that a more attacking midfielder may fit the puzzle this time and Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi will definitely get the chance to back up his debut outing from four days ago.
“I’m not planning more changes,” said Löw. “There will be the odd one. Bellarabi will start because against Poland he was very convincing. We know what he can do and he was very impressive.”
The Veltins-Arena has a Bundesliga capacity of over 61,000, but is limited to just below 54,000 for international matches. As of yesterday lunchtime, there were 4,000 tickets still available, with the German federation confident of a sell-out.
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