Despite injury woes, Germany coach Joachim Loew is confident ahead of the semi-final clash against hosts France on Thursday.
“It’s great that there’s a game like this. I love playing knock-out games against teams of this calibre,” said Loew on Monday.
Germany’s injury list includes Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez with recent news confirming that Bastian Schweinsteiger might be unavailable for the semi-final encounter due to a knee injury. Loew’s German side will also miss ace defender Mats Hummels as he received the second yellow card of the tournament in the quarter-final clash against Italy on Saturday.
Joachim Loew have confirmed that defensive midfielder Sami Khedira will not feature in the semi-final clash against France on Thursday due to a groin injury.
Sami Khedira was replaced by Manchester United defender Bastian Schweinsteiger after 16 minutes of play in the first-half of the epic quarter-final clash against Italy on Saturday, in which the World Champions emerged victorious 6-5 on penalties.
However Loew is optimistic that a quick recovery can allow Khedira to play in the final on Sunday if Germany progresses.
“Sami Khedira is definitely not able to play on Thursday. We will do everything to see if he can play in a possible final. I will probably have to bring new players into the line-up. I trust all of my players, even those who have not seen game action,” Low was quoted as saying by goal.com on Monday.
Germany will have to manage without the services of suspended star defender Mats Hummels for the upcoming high-octane semi-final clash against France. The World Champions will also miss in-form striker Mario Gomez as he has been ruled out of the remaining stages of the tournament due to hamstring injury.
“It is very disappointing when, at this crucial stage of the tournament, important players are ruled out. I’m especially sorry for Mario. He has put in some strong performances at the European Championship and has helped the team not only with his goals,” the coach said.
“It would be an option (to start Mueller up front), but perhaps we’ll play with two strikers, I still have to weigh things up,” he said.
Schweinsteiger is also doubtful for Thursday’s crucial semi-final clash against France as he is suffering from a knee problem. However Low is hopeful that the holding midfielder can make a quick recovery to feature in the semi-final.
“I won’t play anyone who is not 100 per cent fit, but I hope Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit and can play. I made the mistake in the past of using a player that was not 100 per cent fit and I will not do it again,” Low added.
With Khedira and Schweinsteiger missing the semi-final it would be interesting to see how Loew resolves the void in the defensive midfield.
It is believed that Dortmund’s Julian Weigl and Liverpool’s Emre Can will be given the duty to partner with Toni Kross in the middle.