herald

Friday 31 October 2014

Germans prepare for Kazakh pitch

Germany will be training on artificial grass in the run-up to Friday's World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan as they look to adapt to the surface used for the match.

The Germans have had some recent experience on artificial grass, beating Kazakhstan in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and Russia in the World Cup 2010 qualifiers but for both matches their preparation was less than perfect.

"Against Russia the artificial pitch we trained on (in Mainz, Germany) ahead of the game was different than the one in Moscow. Now we have tried to find the same conditions," Germany assistant coach Hansi Flick said.

"In Frankfurt there is a very similar pitch and it is something we have accepted for this game and are happy to be training here for that."

"In past games the pitch was always different from what we had trained on and it is good to get used to the artificial pitch in advance," added central defender Per Mertesacker.

Germany will look to lock in all six points in their away and home qualifiers against Kazakhstan to retain their lead at the top of Group C.

The Germans are top on 10 points from four games, after squandering a 4-0 lead at home to Sweden in October to draw 4-4, three points clear of their Scandinavian rivals.

Germany will travel with 17 in-field players to Astana but are confident their trip will be successful.

"After dropping two points against Sweden we now want all six from these two games," added Flick.

Germany could start without a designated striker after calling up only Mario Gomez, with Mario Goetze a midfield candidate to play up front.

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