Football

Germans know what they have to do

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will make his first start for Germany since the World Cup final last year when his team take on Georgia in a Euro 2016 qualifier today, coach Joachim Loew said yesterday.

Schweinsteiger, who took over from Philipp Lahm as skipper following the team's World Cup triumph in Brazil last year, has yet to feature after nursing a long-term injury that caused him to miss much of the first half of the season.

"Our overall formation will be an attacking one," Loew said, after resting Schweinsteiger for the 2-2 friendly draw with Australia on Wednesday.

"We need players who will box the opponents in their own half, who can operate up front. The concept will be an offensive one."

The Germans are eager to get their qualification back on track.

They struggled to draw with Asian champions Australia, although Loew did rest half a dozen regulars.

"With all due respect for our opponents, we will take the three points," Loew said.

"We have to light the fire to win the three points. We know how important this is and we know of our current situation. I am convinced we can win it."

STRUGGLING

Loew has been struggling with his back line and has yet to decide whether to use a three-man defence which did not work well against Australia, or go with a four.

"We will play various systems until the Euro," he said. "What is more important is the good division of space and to remain flexible.

"For Georgia, it may be the game of the decade and the stadium is sold out. We expect a fiery atmosphere."

Germany assistant coach Thomas Schneider is not taking Georgia lightly in their first competitive game under Kakhaber Tskhadadze, who replaced Temuri Ketsbaia in December.

Speaking before the team flew out yesterday, he said: "The team know what they have to do.

"We didn't pick up enough points in the autumn and therefore we're in a bit of a tight spot, but the 2-2 draw with Australia is behind us...

"Georgia won't sit back and we're convinced that they'll be attacking. It'll be similar to the games against Ireland and Gibraltar, but we're well prepared and we can't afford to slip up.

"We are confident we will fly to Georgia and win." - Wire Services.

The team know what is at stake... We are brimming with confidence. We will see a team who are focused and will bring the necessary points back home.

Germany assistant coach Thomas Schneider