Joachim Loew promises attacking game versus Austria in World Cup qualifier

Updated: 05 September 2013 14:50 IST

Loew's Germany are five-points clear at the top of Group C, with Austria second on goal difference.


Germany coach Joachim Loew has promised more attacking football in Friday's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Munich, despite recent defensive frailties.

Loew's Germany are five-points clear at the top of Group C, with Austria second on goal difference, but Austria coach Marcel Koller will be hoping to exploit the Germans' defensive weaknesses of late.

Germany suffered a 4-3 defeat away to the USA in June, while Paraguay raced into a 2-0 lead in Kaiserslautern last month before Germany fought back for a 3-3 draw.

In both friendlies, the German defence struggled as Loew experimented with his line-up.

During the 53-year-old's seven years in charge, Germany have developed into an attacking powerhouse, but on Tuesday defensive midfielder Sami Khedira called for their prowess going forward to be paired with the efficient defending the Germans have always been known for.

Although question marks have been raised after recent results, Germany have leaked just seven goals in their six qualifiers so far, while scoring 22 in the process, and Loew has said he wants to see his team continue to push forward.

"I'm not prepared to see us fall back and only push forward on the counter-attack," said Loew.

"We are not going to hide in our half of the field and let the opposition attack.

"The team can't only be strong in attack, we have to also do well in defence, but we're not going to be defensive in our overall orientation."

Loew said he expects Austria, for whom 10 members of their squad ply their trade in the Bundesliga, to attack at every opportunity as they need three points to stay in the World Cup qualification hunt.

"This Austria team will be highly motivated, a lot of them play in the Bundesliga and they have matured over the last few years," said Loew.

"They have a good pressing game and are quick on the counter-attack, they will be brave and come at us."

Germany won the away match 2-1 in Vienna in September 2012 with Arsenal's new-signing Mesut Ozil scoring the winning penalty, but Austria striker Marko Arnautovic missed a chance to equalise in the dying stages and the Werder Bremen star has said they "owe" Germany a defeat.

With their rivals Republic of Ireland and Sweden also meeting in Dublin on Friday, a win in Munich would put Germany in pole-position to confirm their qualification ahead of next Tuesday's away trip to minnows Faroe Islands, who are bottom of the group.

The winner of each qualifying group is guaranteed a World Cup place while the eight best runners-up of the nine groups go into play-offs.

The statistics point to a German win: 1986 was the last time Austria beat Germany, but curiously the hosts have never won a qualification game at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Germany are without vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and Khedira will be partnered by either Borussia Dortmund's Sven Bender or Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos.

Having beaten Sweden 2-1 in June, Austrian confidence is high and Bayern Munich left-back David Alaba, who will be in the unusual position of playing with the away team at the Allianz Arena, said they want to shock Germany.

"We want to make life as hard as possible for the Germans," he declared.

"We're going there looking to come away with a result. We have no need to be scared."

Topics : Football Germany Tennis
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