World Cup - Germany torn between nine and false nine

Germany coach Joachim Loew has no plans to get rid of the national team's strikers but says the deployment of offensive midfielders adds versatility to their game.

Reuters
World Cup - Germany torn between nine and false nine
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Miroslav Klose (Reuters)

Speaking in a crowded room ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan, Loew said he had not yet decided how he would set up his team.

"It is not that I want to get rid of strikers," Loew said. "I merely said that it is good if your opponent does not have to prepare always against just one player type.

"Obviously we are happy to have (strikers) Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose in the team."

Loew has been experimenting without a designated striker for some time after their semi-final loss to Italy at Euro 2012.

Spain set a new standard after winning that tournament, having played several matches without a traditional forward.

Loew, who has said shorter midfielders could be more dangerous up front than physically big strikers, has yet to decide whether to start with Gomez, the only forward left after Klose's injury, or pick the diminutive Mario Goetze.

"This is something I still have to decide," Loew said.

Germany are top of Group C on 10 points from four games, with Sweden in second on seven from three matches.

They are looking to beat Kazakhstan on Friday and at home on March 26 to maintain their lead in the group.

"I have not forgotten that the last time (during the Euro 2012 qualifiers) it was 0-0 at half-time," he said. "We have no fear but we respect the Kazakhs. They are physically strong and very motivated. They will resist with hands and feet."

To keep his players in rhythm despite a five-hour time difference with Germany, Loew will keep all clocks on German time during their short trip to the outer fringes of the European continent.

Training for Friday has been set for just before midnight local time on Friday and bedtime at 4am local time which is 11pm in Germany.

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