Germany bank on youth against weak Kazakhstan
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 09:31
  
Mainz: Germany aim to inject youthful enthusiasm into their fast-paced game when they host underdogs Kazakhstan in their Euro 2012 qualifier on Saturday.

Germany lead Group A with 12 points from four games, with their opponents bottom of the table without a point.

"Of course we are favourites and expect three points out of it," team manager Oliver Bierhoff said on Wednesday.

"We want to continue to be so dominant in the group and we will not look at our opponents' game but try to play our technically strong and dynamic game instead."

Bierhoff said the squad would not change for their friendly against Australia three days later and several young players included in the 22-man group would get their chance to play.

"It is good to give them the chance early. We have seen that with players like Mesut Ozil, Jerome Boateng, and Sami Khedira just to mention some, it has paid off," he said.

One of those battling for a spot in the crowded offensive midfield is Mainz 05's Andre Schuerrle, 20, who received his second call-up.

"He has had a positive development and is a dynamic, quick player," said Bierhoff. "It is important to bring such players into the team and give them the chance."

Also in the running for a midfield role are Borussia Dortmund duo Sven Bender, 21, and Mario Goetze, 18.

Germany have no injury concerns apart from second goalkeeper Rene Adler, who was ruled out with a muscle injury earlier in the week.

Forward Miroslav Klose is expected to start at the expense of Bayern Munich team mate Mario Gomez who has won their club rivalry this season.

Kazakhstan have a mountain to climb and will be missing three key players with Andrei Karpovich, Aleksandr Kirov and Samat Smakov all injured.

New coach Miroslav Beranek, who guided his native Czech Republic to a surprise European Under-21 title triumph in 2002, took over in January to succeed German Bernd Storck who resigned in October last year.

"We will need to play in fifth gear," said Beranek, aware of the challenge that lies ahead in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 47,000 in Kaiserslautern.

Kazakhstan have lost all four of their qualifiers, conceding 10 goals and failing to find the net so far.

Bureau Report


First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 09:31


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