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Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview: Germany v Belgium
The Red Devils face an uphill struggle at Esprit Arena on Tuesday as they face Joachim Low's men, who are looking to finish their Group A qualifying campaign with a perfect record
By Vasil Kotsev
Howedes, Mertesacker, Hummels, Lahm
Muller, Ozil, Kroos, Schurrle
Ciman, Lombaerts, Kompany, Vertonghen
Dembele, Hazard, Mertens
Joachim Low will be without Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who once again complained of pain in his knee. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng are doubtful for the game as they picked up 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.
Georges Leekens' main concern ahead of the clash 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.
Zenit St Peterburg centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts is expected to step in for the ex-Hamburg man, who will be forced to watch from the stands with David Hubert (stomach complaint). Jelle Vossen (ankle injury), Marvin Ogunjimi (knee injury) are rated doubtful for the game, while Igor de Camargo has withdrawn from the squad due to fitness problems.
||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.
- A goal by Miroslav Klose proved to be difference between two sides in their last clash. This time around the Lazio striker is injured and will not take part.
- 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.
- 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)||Oct 11, 2011||Germany 3 - Belgium 1|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Sep 3, 2010||Belgium 0 - Germany 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Aug 20, 2008||Germany 2 - Belgium 0|
|Mar 26, 2013||Germany 4 - Kazakhstan 1||WCQ|
|Mar 22, 2013||Kazakhstan 0 - Germany 3||WCQ|
|Feb 6, 2013||France 1 - Germany 2||FR|
|Nov 14, 2012||Netherlands 0 - Germany 0||FR|
|Oct 16, 2012||Germany 4 - Sweden 4||WCQ|
|Returns:||Germany £13.60||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Belgium £810.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
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-team 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 Joachim Low's men.
Germany are in inspired form, and are set to field a full-strength team. Joachim Low's side are gunning for a perfect 10 wins out of 10 in Group A, and despite the need of the visitors, they should secure the result that guarantees an unprecedented campaign.