Bierhoff: France are favourites
But team manager is sure key players' absence won't hurt Germany
We are the underdogs going into the semi-finals tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff (photo) admitted that injury-hit Germany have their work cut out against France, but the world champions have youngsters who are ready to step up.
Germany will be without injured holding midfielder Sami Khedira and striker Mario Gomez, while also missing central defender Mats Hummels through suspension.
Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is doubtful for the game, due to a knee ligament injury, although he returned to training yesterday.
Emre Can is a likely replacement for Khedira, with 20-year-old Julian Weigl another midfield option for coach Joachim Loew.
"We have been gradually improving during the tournament. I am convinced we can compensate for these absences," Bierhoff said.
"It could also be that players who were not in focus before the tournament or do not have great international experience turn out to be decisive."
Bierhoff also heaped pressure on France, who beat Iceland 5-2 in the quarter-finals, saying that they are slight favourites.
He said: "They have filled up on confidence with the win over Iceland, they have grown together as a team.
"They also did not have to play 120 minutes, like we have from our quarter-final with Italy.
"So I think they are favourites because they have the home advantage and are a bit fresher." - Reuters.