Germany - Belgium Preview: Hosts aiming for 10th consecutive qualifying campaign win
The Red Devils face an uphill struggle at Esprit arena on Tuesday as they face Joachim Low's men, who are looking to complete their Group A fixtures with a perfect record
By Vasil Kotsev
Howedes, Mertesacker, Hummels, Lahm
Muller, Ozil, Kroos, Schurrle
Ciman, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen
Dembele, Hazard, Mertens
Joachim Low will not be able to rely on Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who has once again complained of pain in his knee. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng are doubtful for the game on Tuesday as they picked minor knocks last week and are likely to start from the bench.
Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil is set to return after recovering from the ankle injury which kept him out of the game against Turkey. Toni Kroos has also finished his recuperation and is expected to start against Belgium, while debutant Ilkay Gundogan will most probably be named as a substitute.
The slot on the left of the attacking midfield trident is still up for grabs, but Andre Schurrle has a good chance to play ahead of Lukas Podolski, who was disappointing in the game against Turkey last Friday. Mario Gotze has been given a rest by Low and will not take part.
Other notable absentees from Low's team are Borussia Dortmund duo Sven Bender and Marcel Schmelzer, who have both been ruled out by injury.
Georges Leekens' main concern ahead of the clash against Germany is the suspension of Daniel Van Buyten, who has picked up his second yellow card of the Euro 2012 qualification campaign and will miss out on a reunion with his Bayern Munich colleagues on Tuesday.
Ajax centre-back Toby Alderweireld is expected to step in for the ex-Hamburg man, who will be forced to watch from the stands with Jelle Vossen (ankle injury), David Hubert (stomach complaints) and Marvin Ogunjimi (knee injury).
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Germany have not lost at home to Belgium in 101 years. Coincidentally, the Red Devils only victory away from home against the DFB-team was in the first ever game between the two countries, back in 1910.
- Joachim Low's men have won all of their matches in Group A, and have already booked their place for Euro 2012. They are one victory away from setting a national record for best performance in the qualifying stage.
- No less than 48 players have debuted for Germany since Joachim Low took over from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006.
- Belgium need a victory to secure the play-off spot in Group A. If Azerbaijan do not lose against Turkey, a draw will be enough for Georges Leekens' men.
- The Red Devils have not won in an official game against Germany for 57 years.
- Belgium played against West Germany in the Euro 1980 final, losing 2-1 with Horst Hrubesch scoring a dramatic late winner to round off his brace after his opener was cancelled out by Rene Vandereycken's 75th minute spot-kick.
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Top 3 Predictions
Germany 3-0 Belgium
- 21.95 %
Germany 3-1 Belgium
- 16 %
Germany 2-0 Belgium
- 12.98 %
|Euro 2012 (EC)||11 Oct 2011||Germany 3 - Belgium 1|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||3 Sep 2010||Belgium 0 - Germany 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||20 Aug 2008||Germany 2 - Belgium 0|
|19 Nov 2013||England 0 - Germany 1||FR|
|15 Nov 2013||Italy 1 - Germany 1||FR|
|15 Oct 2013||Sweden 3 - Germany 5||WCQE|
|11 Oct 2013||Germany 3 - Republic of Ireland 0||WCQE|
|10 Sep 2013||Faroe Islands 0 - Germany 3||WCQE|
|-||Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé||Midfielder|
The Real Madrid playmaker is set to return after missing the game against Turkey, and will once again orchestrate Germany's attack. The ex-Werder Bremen man's crisp passing and unrivalled vision will be a key asset for the DFB-side on Tuesday.
The Lille attacker recently scored his first international goal for Belgium and the Red Devils' fans will be hopeful he can get on the score-sheet again. His explosive dribbling is likely to pose plenty of problems for Germany's defence, and his keen eye for the unexpected could be a major headache for Low's men.
Germany are in red-hot form and are set to field a full-strength team on Tuesday, with Joachim Low taking this final group game very seriously. The DFB-team are known to give their all in every single fixture in order to preserve their momentum, and they will probably be too much to handle for Belgium.