Germany's Karim Bellarabi, Holger Badstuber out of Georgia qualifier
Germany forward Karim Bellarabi and defender Holger Badstuber have been ruled out of their Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia, assistant coach Thomas Schneider said on Friday.
Berlin: Germany forward Karim Bellarabi and defender Holger Badstuber have been ruled out of their Euro 2016 qualifier in Georgia, assistant coach Thomas Schneider said on Friday.
Schneider said Bellarabi would miss the game due to a cold while Badstuber, who returned after a two-and-a-half year injury absence in Germany`s 2-2 draw against Australia on Wednesday, was nursing a muscle injury.
"It is nothing dramatic," Schneider told reporters. "For Holger it is near where he was operated on and it is a precautionary measure because he is part of our plans."
Germany, who will now travel with 21 players to Tbilisi for Sunday`s game, have made an erratic start to the qualifiers, managing seven points from four games, as many as Ireland and Scotland, with Poland three clear at the top of Group D.
Schneider said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was fit following minor knee inflammation that saw him sit out Wednesday`s friendly. Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, rested as well, was also set to make his first appearance since the World Cup final.
"The team knows what is at stake," Schneider said ahead of their departure later on Friday. "We have put the friendly game against Australia behind us.
"We are under a bit of pressure but there is no panic. We are brimming with confidence. We will see a team that is focused and will bring the necessary points back home."
Several other key players who were rested on Wednesday, including Jerome Boateng, Thomas Mueller and Mats Hummels, are expected to slip back into the starting lineup.
While the Germans have arguably the most talented midfield in the world, they have been struggling with their back line recently.
Coach Joachim Loew fielded a three-man defence against Asia champions Australia that did not look solid in the first half before reverting to four after the break.
Loew has said he wants his defenders to be more flexible, both adding pace and pressing forward depending on the opponent, but on Wednesday they struggled to cover the spaces at the back against the quick-passing Australians
"Maybe we will play with three defenders or maybe not," Schneider said. "What is certain is that we have the players to play the three-man defence there.
"We are confident we will fly to Georgia and win," he said.