Dortmund star Mario Götze (l.) could feature as a so-called 'false No9' against Kazakhstan
Dortmund star Mario Götze (l.) could feature as a so-called 'false No9' against Kazakhstan

Löw considering 'false No9'

Frankfurt - Having only one available striker would likely be a concern to most coaches, but not Germany boss Joachim Löw, who is considering playing without one entirely in Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Friday (kick-off 19:00 CET).

"Different players up front"

The three-time world champions tested the system with four defenders and six midfielders in the second half of last year's goalless friendly in the Netherlands and again in February's 2-1 victory over France, but they are yet to play without a nominal centre forward in a competitive game.

"I've been considering the idea for a while," said Löw from the squad's pre-flight base in Frankfurt. "The idea is to have different players go up front [during a game], who of course have to look to finish and be threats in front of goal." Assistant coach Hans-Dieter 'Hansi' Flick similarly referred to the system that world and European champions Spain have perfected in recent years as "an option. We'll wait and see what happens in training and then decide".

The fact that Friday's encounter at the Astana Arena will be held on artificial turf gives further reason to believe Löw might opt for technically more accomplished players in attack rather than a more physical forward like FC Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez, with the 53-year-old coach explaining that the unfamiliar surface "could even be to our advantage", while Flick added the pitch would demand the players to "pass more accurately".

Schweinsteiger & Co. resume

Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Mario Götze is one of a handful of players being touted for the 'false No9' role having played there in the recent win in France after Gomez had been substituted. The latter, however, remains an alternative despite limited first-team football with the runaway Bundesliga leaders this term.

Gomez's Bayern colleague Bastian Schweinsteiger has meanwhile returned to full training along with Real Madrid CF star Sami Khedira and Arsenal FC's Lukas Podolski, so Germany are likely to have all of their 20 remaining players available for the match following the withdrawals of Lars and Sven Bender, as well as Toni Kroos.

Felix Seaman-Höschele