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Thursday, June 2, 2011
Lahm expects 'explosive' Austria clash

Germany can take another significant step towards the European Championship finals with a win against neighbouring Austria in a game that Philipp Lahm has described as 'explosive'.

Joachim Low's men have won all five of their Group A encounters so far to establish a five-point lead over Belgium at the summit. A trip to Vienna is unlikely to pose too many problems for the Germans but captain Lahm is adamant his team-mates will not underestimate their hosts.

''Games against Austria are always explosive as there is a special rivalry,'' Bayern Munich full-back Lahm said. ''There are many Austrians who play with us in the Bundesliga and have great quality.''

Lahm knows the significance of a win, though.

''We look forward to this important game,'' he added. ''With a win, we can take a big step (towards qualification).''

Germany will make a late decision on the availability of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, who has been struggling with a thigh injury.

Austria midfielder Paul Scharner has brushed aside thoughts of qualification and is instead focused on upsetting the World Cup semi-finalists.

He said: ''Currently, we don't even think about our chances of qualifying for the finals. All we live for are the two games against Germany.''

Captain Marc Janko added: We have prepared very intensively for this difficult match. We are the rank outsiders and have nothing to lose but we want to irritate Germany and maybe that will be good enough for a draw or a success.''

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