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FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany sports chief predicts tough clash with Sweden

Germany's soccer national team manager Oliver Bierhoff speaks during a press conference in Adler Sochi.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Germany sports chief predicts tough clash with Sweden
Pic courtesy: EFE-EPA

Sochi, Russia: Oliver Bierhoff, sporting director for the German soccer federation (DFB), said on Wednesday that his country's upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup match against Sweden looks to be a tough game.

Bierhoff acknowledged that defending champion Germany is under a great deal of pressure to win Saturday's game, after losing to Mexico 1-0 in the opening match of Group F on June 17. "We are going to have to be patient to avoid surprises," he said.

"There were debates and everyone knows the responsibility that they have, there is a certain tranquility, and we are aware of our own strengths," he added. Bierhoff denied that there were divisions between Germany's veteran players and younger teammates, and stressed that match against Sweden would be like a final for the German side.

"It's a pity that we arrive at a moment of decision so soon, but we have to handle this situation," he explained. The sporting director said he was annoyed by questions about the future of Germany coach Joachim Low in the event that Die Mannschaft fails to qualify for the round of 16, recalling that Low led his country to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Germany is to take on Sweden, which beat South Korea 1-0 in their opening match on Saturday.