Euro 2016: Germany in 2 crucial ties in quest for pole position

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger's recent form and fitness has been in question after a shaky start with new club Manchester United.
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger's recent form and fitness has been in question after a shaky start with new club Manchester United.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

FRANKFURT • World Cup winners Germany will be looking to make amends for their Euro 2016 qualifying defeat by Poland last year when the two sides meet again in Frankfurt on Friday, as they attempt to heave their qualification campaign back on track.

The Germans suffered a shock 0-2 loss to their neighbours only three months after winning the World Cup in Brazil last year.

Poland currently top the group, a point ahead of Germany. The world champions also play third-placed Scotland in Glasgow on Monday.

"We have two important games and we look forward to that," Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger told reporters yesterday.

"We want to attack, we need points and results and we need to focus on that.

"We have to show our qualities. Poland will be difficult as will the away game in Glasgow. These are challenging games but we want revenge for the defeat in Poland."

The 31-year-old holding midfielder, who moved to Manchester United in the close season after 14 years at Bayern Munich, said Germany have struggled with consistency in the qualifiers so far.

They have failed to keep up the tempo throughout matches.

"In the game against Poland, they were aggressive and you could see they wanted to win the match," he said. "We controlled the game at times but not over 90 minutes. This is something we need to work on."

His own form and fitness has been in question, particularly after United's 1-2 defeat by Swansea on Sunday - his first full appearance for his Premier League club.

But Germany manager Joachim Loew has backed his skipper.

"When push comes to shove, Bastian is still a world-class player," he said. "He is adaptable and his physical robustness is one of his greatest strengths. When he's physically fit, you know what he brings to the team.

"He's a strategist, he leads the team and he's equipped with an unbelievable will to fight and win."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2015, with the headline 'Germany in 2 crucial ties in quest for pole position'. Print Edition | Subscribe