Oliver Bierhoff is keen for Germany to wrap up their place at Euro 2016 over the next week by beating both Poland and Scotland in their next two qualifiers.
The World Cup winners host group leaders Poland in Frankfurt tomorrow night before travelling to Glasgow for Monday’s clash with Scotland.
Scotland are just two points behind Germany — with Poland one clear of Joachim Low’s men — while Ireland are a further two points behind Scotland. With only the top two guaranteed a place in France, it promises to be a defining week of qualifying action.
But general manager Bierhoff is confident Germany will end on top.
“We want to put the table right and of course we expect to win the group as world champions,” Bierhoff said.
“From October, we want to be able to focus fully on the Euros, so we’ve got to have qualified by then.
“What makes me optimistic is the character of my players and their attitude. We’re at home against Poland and very confident because I remember we dominated in Poland and just lacked the goals.
“So I’m sure we’ll do it. The coach has looked at solutions to break down deep-lying teams. We’ve got a lot of quality and we’ll prove it, I’m sure.”
One of the players Germany will have to stop is Robert Lewandowski, who could come up against four of his Bayern Munich team-mates tomorrow.
“I think he’s a great player and I would like to have him in my team,” said Bierhoff. “It’s impressive the way he’s improved to become one of the best strikers in Europe.
“But I’m looking forward to seeing a very sad, disappointed expression on his face.”
Poland beat Germany 2-0 in Warsaw just under a year ago to gain their advantage at the top of the pile.
Thomas Muller was one of the many world champions in Low’s side given a rude awakening that night, and the Bayern Munich forward said they have a “score to settle” tomorrow.
“I hope the game will be harder for Poland than it was then and I’m sure the pitch won’t be as boggy as it was in Warsaw either,” he said.
“The fact they have so many players in the Bundesliga shows that they have good quality and that’s why they are in a good position, but we want to be top again and we’ll do all we can and hopefully use our home advantage.”
Meanwhile, defender Andy Robertson senses the whole Scotland squad is united in their determination to end their long absence from a major finals.
The Hull left-back, at the age of 21, is too young to remember Scotland’s last appearance on the big stage, the 1998 World Cup finals in France.
Robertson said: “It’s not really like you talk about it as such, but all the boys know that we want to get Scotland back in the big competitions. That’s all the boys’ aim in that squad just now.”
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