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Uruguay v Germany

Flu hampers Germany build-up

July 10, 2010
By Soccernet staff

A flu outbreak threatens to keep some Germany players and coach Joachim Low from appearing at Saturday's World Cup third-place play-off.

Jogi Low and Hans Dieter Flick in matching uniform
GettyImagesHansi Flick (L) may need to take charge if Joachim Low is bed-ridden for the match

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Assistant coach Hansi Flick, filling in for Low at the pre-match press conference, said the illness could affect selections for the match and also revealed that striker Miroslav Klose, who is chasing Ronaldo's all-time World Cup scoring record, will decide himself whether he has sufficiently recovered from a back injury to take part against Uruguay.

Klose is one short of Ronaldo's tally of 15 goals and his attempt to enter the record books, if fit to play, would give some lasting meaning to a match with little riding on it.

Flick said: "It's Miro who will decide if he feels better and if he can start. He can go down in history if he scores one or two goals. The whole team wants to help him do it."

Fellow striker Lukas Podolski and captain Philipp Lahm are two of the players worst affected by flu and Flick said a decision on their selection will be made on Saturday morning. Team manager Oliver Bierhoff said Low was struggling worst of all and that there was a chance he may not even be able to attend the match.

Bierhoff said: "Last night, some flu virus hit us hard, maybe to do with the flights, air conditioning and maybe the disappointment [of losing to Spain]. Low has a serious case of flu, but we are trying to get him fit and on the bench for Saturday. It remains to be seen if Klose will play, likewise we don't want Lahm to get injured and then carry that into the new Bundesliga season.''

Bierhoff hinted younger players could get an opportunity if the senior stars are ruled out, but both he and Flick insisted the three-time winners would be seriously attempting to win the match.

Bierhoff said: "For us, this World Cup is anything but over, we will be 100 percent focused and dedicated. 'We want to play with the same fresh, free-flowing football we have shown so far here. Sometimes it is good to field unspoiled players, as we did in 2006."

Flick said: "Of course, we came to South Africa to be world champions but we want to show in this match what we are capable of. Third place is our minimum target and the match allows us to finish on a postive note. We are facing a Uruguayan side who are hard to unsettle but we have shown against England and Argentina that the players are not frightened by this task. Despite our defeat to Spain, this World Cup has been a success."