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EC Qualification

  • June 7, 2011
  • • 18:00
  • • Tofiq Bəhramov adına Respublika stadionu, Bakı (Baku)
  • Referee: M. Koukoulakis
  • • Attendance: 29858
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Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Azerbaijan - Germany

Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Azerbaijan - Germany

A routine win is expected of the Germans, who will all but seal qualification by bagging three points in Baku

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PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Azerbaijan (4-1-4-1)

Agayev; Melikov, A. Sadygov, Javadov, Aliyev; F. Sadygov; Abushev, Nadyrov, Medvedev, Levin; Ismayilov



Only one change is expected from the Azeri side, as Vugar Nadyrov is set to replace Javid Huseynov in midfield, after scoring his country's equaliser in their 2-1 loss to Kazakhstan on Friday.

Germany (4-2-3-1)

Neuer; Lahm, Friedrich, Badstuber, Schmelzer; Hummels, Kroos; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez

Man Utd.


Sami Khedira and Simon Rolfes are the latest to withdraw from Joachim Low's squad, leaving the coach with no option but to give Sebastian Rudy his first ever call-up. With Khedira, Rolfes, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sven Bender, and Christian Trasch all unavailable to play in defensive midfield, Rudy has a genuine chance to start, although Low's other option is to advance Mats Hummels from defence to midfield.

Elsewhere, the absence of Miroslav Klose means that Mario Gomez will start as the attacking focal point. Low may experiment with his attacking options, but in all likelihood will use his tried and tested combination of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski from the start.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Azerbaijan lost their last qualifier against Kazakhstan. In the press conference afterward, coach Berti Vogts had a toilet paper roll thrown at him.
  • Before moving to Azerbaijan, Vogts coached the nation of his birth, Germany.
  • Azerbaijan have only won two matches since Vogts took over as coach in 2008.
  • One of those wins came in October as Azerbaijan beat Turkey 1-0 in Baku, earning their only points of Euro qualifying.
  • Germany have a perfect 18 points from six Euro 2012 qualifiers.
  • Mario Gomez, who was the match-winner against Austria has scored in his last three international matches.
  • Low's squad boasts Europe's best goal difference in qualifiers, with the second-highest goals scored tally.
  • Lukas Podolski is the most capped player in the German squad, with 88 appearances for country. He surpassed Bastian Schweinsteiger's tally in his last match, and is 12th on his country's all-time list.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
Players to Watch
R.A. Sadygov
R.A. Sadygov
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
In the past, the skipper has put on tremendous performances, and it will be up to him to inspire his team and lead by example. At 28, Sadygov is experienced and in the prime of his career; it will be his duty to keep Gomez quiet, and to organise his defence against the German onslaught.
M. Gómez
M. Gómez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
5 3 0 0
Having scored a goal against Uruguay and bagged a brace against Austria in recent days, Gomez has managed to bring his sparkling form to the international stage. He has more confidence than ever now, and will be especially keen to maintain his run of form as he tries to usurp Miroslav Klose's position as Germany's main striker.
Prediction
Azerbaijan have become quite resilient in Baku, and may well take a clean sheet into half-time. However, in spite of their injuries, Germany have more than enough quality - and crucially, fitness - to earn a comfortable win.
Editor's Prediction

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