Germany v Scotland: Scots ‘have nothing to lose’

JOACHIM Low believes Scotland will be a danger to Germany in Sunday’s European Championship qualifier in Dortmund because they are on form and “have nothing to lose”.
Germany's national football team coach Joachim Loew watches his players train. Picture: GettyGermany's national football team coach Joachim Loew watches his players train. Picture: Getty
Germany's national football team coach Joachim Loew watches his players train. Picture: Getty

The Scots go into the Group D opener against the world champions at Signal Iduna Park with few giving them a chance of taking anything from the game even though the German side will be much-changed due to retirement and injury. They also go into the match on the back of a 4-2 friendly defeat at home to Argentina.

However, Germany boss Low talked up the Scots and noted that Gordon Strachan’s rejuvenated side have gone six games unbeaten.

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“Scotland have had no problems in their preparations,” he said.

“They have a British mentality but they don’t play with a British style these days.

“They try to play good football but are still very well organised.

“They have quality players and have nothing to lose in this match so will play with no fear.

“We know all about their team and their biggest strength is that they are a team.

“They have good players like (Steven) Naismith, (Shaun) Maloney and (Ikechi) Anya.

“Darren Fletcher is the best known player playing for Manchester United. He is also the most experienced player.

“”They will be motivated, physical and they will run a lot and they are also very good in one-on-one.

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“They have won twice against Croatia and drew again USA and Nigeria and so we know they are a very good team.

“It will be a difficult match for us.”

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle has recent knowledge of on-form Naismith who scored his third goal in three games for Everton in the 6-3 defeat by the Stamford Bridge side at Goodison last Saturday.

“Steven Naismith is a very good player, he’s very quick and he scored a lot of goals,” he said.

“He played well against us for Everton so he’s dangerous and someone we’ll have to watch.

“Darren Fletcher also has a lot of quality and experience from his time in England.

“But Scotland have other players who play in England as well so they have a quality squad.

“What we will have to do is make sure our players play well on the night and do enough to get a victory.”

World Cup winners Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker have retired from international duty while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Julian Draxler are out injured.

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Those absences appeared to take their toll last Wednesday night when Germany capitulated against their World Cup final opponents in Dusseldorf.

Low, who confirmed that defender Jerome Boateng will return after injury, played the defeat down, saying: “Yes, there were a few mistakes in defence in the Argentina game but we weren’t really that bad.

“It was more about concentration problems and at this level if you make mistakes you will be punished.

“We have to close the space and concentrate over 90 minutes.

“After every tournament you always have to replace players. We have to always look to the future.

“We have to deal with the situation and with the players who have had knocks.

“But now the players are focused and concentrated.”

Despite the turnaround in circumstances since his summer triumph in Rio, the German boss warned Scotland and the rest of the group that there will be no problem with self-motivation in this campaign.

He said: “My motivation is there completely.

“Even on holiday I thought about things and analysed situations.

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“It is an exciting job and you have to develop, other teams develop and you have to keep up.

“The motivation from me is from the inside and if I thought I wouldn’t have the motivation then I would quit this job.”