Germany face Sweden in tough test

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

Before the start of the world cup in Germany, 96 per cent of Germans believed that their team was the unlikeliest to win the world cup.

Germany face Sweden in tough test

Munich:

Before the start of the world cup in Germany, 96 per cent of Germans believed that their team was the unlikeliest to win the world cup. But their performance in the group stage has perhaps compelled them to change their opinion. However the three times champion will now go through their first tough test - meeting Sweden in the second round which of course is a knock out. However coach Jurgen Klinsman is confident given the fact that he has the top scorer in the tournament - Miroslav Klose and also one of the best mid fielders in the world - captain Michael Ballack both crucial to the Germans advancing to the quarter finals. "His role is crucial, his tactical role in front of our back four is very, very important and he is doing his job, he is doing his job perfectly," said Jurgen Klinsman, Germany coach. "So, we expect him now to give his best and that is just what he is doing and we are very satisfied with his two performances in the first round and if he confirms that role that he shows in the last two games, that is absolutely ok." German side This is what the final eleven is likely to be for Germany - Jens Lehmann will be in goal with four defenders including Arne Friedrich, and Philipp Lahm. The midfield will have four players including captain Ballack and the front line will have Klose alongwith Lukas Podolski. The Germans who have won 12 of their 31 meeting vs the Swedes are expected to play a 4-4-2 combination. There is good news for Sweden - star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return from injury after having missed 2 matches - including the drawn encounter with England. Sweden may not have lost to England in 38 years but quite similarly they have not beat Germany in 28 years. If history repeats itself then the Scandanvian side could well be on their way back since they have not beaten germany since 1978 ... and that was much before most players of Jurgen Klinsmann's side were even born.

Topics : Football Germany
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