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Germany under pressure, admits Bierhoff

The former striker says expectations are high within his native country but is confident their preparations for the tournament are progressing as planned

Germany are under pressure to win World Cup 2014 as they step up their preparation for the tournament, says Oliver Bierhoff.

Joachim Low's men, who qualified top of Uefa Group C with nine wins from 10 matches, will face USA, Ghana and Portugal in the group phase.

Bierhoff, who represented his country 70 times, is expecting a tough challenge in Brazil despite their favourites tag.

"The pressure is there, of course, and it's not going to be less," the 45-year-old told reporters.

"The desire of us, the fans and also the players is huge to win a title there in Brazil. We know we are one of the favourites, but we know it's a hell of a lot of work."

Sami Khedira is one player who will be hoping to earn a call-up to the squad but he must first overcome an anterior cruciate ligament injury in order to be considered, with Bierhoff confirming that a number of options are being weighed up.

He added: "Everybody has chances. I mean, we know the players for quite a while. So for example we know what kind of player Sami Khedira is, what kind of a character he has, his personality.

"But of course it's very important that a player is 100 per cent fit. Despite that, everybody has the same chances."

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