WC Qual - UEFA
March 22, 2013
Kazakhstan v Germany: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||0.3||3.7|
|Goals against *||1.7||0.7|
|Last 5 home||L-D-L||W-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-L||W-W-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Kazakhstan | Germany|
Germany made the long trip to Kazakhstan today confident of picking up three more points on their way to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
After throwing away a 4-0 lead in their last qualifier to draw 4-4 with Sweden, Germany know they cannot afford any further slip-ups if they are to avoid a final group game decider against the Swedes in October.
Six points in a double-header against Kazakhstan are therefore an obligation, according to attacking midfielder Thomas Muller.
"Of course we've got to win there,'' he said. "These are six points we have planned on and we need them for qualifying.
"We do have respect for Kazakhstan, but if we as Germany did not come here to win, then the world would not be in order.''
Germany come into the game in Astana buoyed by victory over France in a friendly last month, a game in which Bayern midfielder Muller found the target.
He can expect even more chances to score in Kazakhstan with Germany coach Joachim Low set to play once again without an out-and-out striker and with the Bayern midfielder in a more advanced position.
The 23-year-old therefore hopes to increase his haul of 11 goals in 39 caps between tomorrow night and the return in Nuremberg next Tuesday.
"I broke my drought against France and hopefully now I can put a run together,'' he told the German Football Association's website.
"I'll try my best and we'll see what happens.''
To ease with the time difference after a long flight, Germany have decided not to alter their clocks and act as if they are still in the central European time zone.
This resulted in Low's pre-match press conference taking place at 22:00 local time, 17:00 CET with dinner at two and lights out at four.
"There is a five-hour time difference and the rule of thumb is that that would require five days to get used to,'' said one of the Germany national team's doctors Tim Meyer.
"We don't have that time because we're heading straight back again so we're sticking to our own time with the same times for eating and sleeping, which you can cope with for one or two days.''
Germany can then find themselves fit and ready to face Kazakhstan again next Tuesday, and Low has no injury or tiredness concerns after losing Sven and Lars Bender and Toni Kroos from his original squad selection.
"If anything happens in the game tomorrow, then we'll consider whether or not we call anybody else up on Saturday,'' said the Germany coach, who may leave Sami Khedira, Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger out as a precaution after all three reported for national team duty with knocks.
Borussia Dortmund duo Marco Reus and Mario Gotze are candidates to lead the forward line, together with Muller in a similar system to the one tested in Paris.
Kazakhstan have picked up just one point from their first four qualifying matches, drawing 0-0 at home to Austria last October, although they then lost 4-0 in Vienna four days later.
They were also beaten 2-0 in Sweden, but were only beaten 2-1 in their other home match against the Republic of Ireland.