Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sweden vs Germany

Germany will look to gain revenge over Sweden when the two sides go head-to-head in Group C of World Cup qualification.

The only blip in Joachim Low's side's qualifying campaign came in a 4-4 draw with Erik Hamren's men in October 2012, after they surrendered a four-goal lead in Berlin.

Germany have won their other eight fixtures and comfortably qualified for next year's tournament in Brazil, with progression officially confirmed by a straightforward 3-0 triumph over Republic of Ireland on Friday.

Goals from Sami Khedira, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil did the damage in Koln, with the latter of that trio influential for Germany, notching seven goals in nine games, while Marco Reus has also aided the cause by netting five times.

Despite already confirming their World Cup place, Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger insists that Germany will not lose focus ahead of the tournament, telling reporters: "All our games from now on are about preparing for the World Cup. We need to improve, develop and build confidence as a team."

With 20 points, Sweden have ensured that they will finish second and now must wait to see if they have done enough to secure one of the eight best runners-up spots in order to contest the play-offs.

Victory in Solna on Tuesday would boost their chances but it is an unenviable task, with Germany undefeated in World Cup qualifiers since their 5-1 humbling at home to England in September 2001.

However, Sweden have won their last five fixtures and will be buoyed by their 2-1 success over Austria on Friday.

Tuedsay's hosts fell behind to Martin Harnik's first-half strike but goals from Martin Olsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ensured they claimed maximum points.

Ibrahimovic has unsurprisingly been Sweden's most potent attacking player throughout qualifying, contributing six goals in nine games.

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