Sao Joao da Venda - Germany travel to Portugal's Estadio Algarve to take on unfancied Gibraltar in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying on Saturday (kick-off 21:45 CEST/19:45 GMT).
Sao Joao da Venda - Germany travel to Portugal's Estadio Algarve to take on unfancied Gibraltar in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying on Saturday (kick-off 21:45 CEST/19:45 GMT).The world champions could find themselves as many as four points adrift of Group D leaders Poland at the start of play, with head coach Joachim Löw admitting that the jam-packed domestic and international schedule has taken its toll since last summer's FIFA World Cup triumph in Brazil.
'Keep up the concentration'
"It was a tough season for the players and it demanded a lot of energy," Löw told journalists at the pre-match press conference. "That's why we'll be glad when the season is over on Saturday. I believe it's very important for the players that they'll have three or four weeks' holiday. What we need to do now is to keep up the concentration and to play well against Gibraltar."
Tired legs certainly played a part as Germany surrendered a one-goal lead in a 2-1 friendly defeat to the USA on Wednesday. Captain and FC Bayern München midfield ace Bastian Schweinsteiger came off at half time with the scores at one apiece in Cologne and is once again expecting another thorough examination of his side's credentials, despite the obvious gulf in class between the two nations.
'It doesn't have to be double figures'
"We won't make the mistake of underestimating Gibraltar," he told dfb.de. "We have to go there and put in a good performance. We have to find a way through against a team that will sit deep for the most part. We know we are stronger than Gibraltar - obviously we have to come away with a win, but it doesn't have to be double figures."
Gibraltar: Robba - J. Chipolina, Sergeant, Casciaro, R. Chipolina, Garcia - Bardon, Payas, Walker - Priestley, Casciaro
Germany: Weidenfeller - Rudy, Mustafi, J. Boateng, Hector - Schweinsteiger, Khedira - Bellarabi, Özil, Schürrle - Götze