herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Germans happy to carry on without Ozil

GERMANY insist that their squad is so strong that they don't need to call in a replacement for the injured Mesut Ozil ahead of their Euro 2016 battles with Poland and Ireland.

Joachim Loew's side have carried on their preparations in Frankfurt ahead of today's flight to Warsaw for that crucial clash with the Poles tomorrow, and there was a much-needed good news story, in the face of a long injury list, as the Germans confirmed that André Schürrle and Julian Draxler, who had been injury doubts, were in full training and were expected to be fit for both games including Tuesday's date with Ireland in Gelsenkirchen.

Ozil joined the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Benedikt Hoewedes, Marco Reus and Mario Gomez on the injured list but boss Loew was happy to stick with the panel he has in place.

"We won't be bringing in any replacements," said Lowe's assistant Thomas Schneider when asked about someone filling in for Ozil, who is sidelined for up to 12 weeks with a knee injury.

"We have enough quality in the team. The players that remain are ready for the game. André Schürrle and Julian Draxler are back. We hope they will be ready for the weekend," Schneider added.

"His injury is a bitter blow for us and for Mesut, but it doesn't change the fact that our target remains to win the game in Warsaw."

Poland have never beaten the Germans in a competitive game but the home fans in Warsaw tomorrow night will feel that this is one of their best chances, against an under-strength German side.

"I don't care that we are playing the world champions, it's just a case of us trying to get the three points we need," says Poland's Romanian-based defender Łukasz Szukała.

"We are playing in our home ground in front of a full house, and we want to show people what a good team we are.

"We have heard about their injury problems but that's not a concern and I am not bothered by what team they pick, we have to look to our own game and play well to get the win."

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