Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Germans reluctant to gamble on an out of form Klose

Germany coach Joachim Low has admitted he has yet to make up his mind who will lead his attack against Australia on Sunday.

Low has favoured Miroslav Klose in his two pre-tournament warm-up games, however there has been no indication that the Bayern Munich striker, who netted just three goals for his club all season, is nearing a satisfactory level of form.

And Low's support of the man who has led Germany's challenge at the last two World Cups appears to be waning.

“Miro has a lot of catching up to do,” he said after the team arrived in Johannesburg yesterday.

“He has trained hard, and yet we took a risk on him against Bosnia. Miro is going to have to fight for his place.”

Should Low decide to shuffle his pack for their World Cup opener, he has picked out the two candidates he is considering.

Cacau has been the first choice to take Klose's place in the recent matches against Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he has left a good impression each time.

But Klose's team mate Mario Gomez is also fighting for a starting berth and Low admitted he has been particularly impressed with the 24-year-old.

“Gomez is in very, very good form,” he said. “He is playing better than I have ever seen him play for Bayern Munich.”

However, a gamble on Gomez backfired at Euro 2008, when he failed to find the back of the net even once, which is why Cacau currently has the edge.

“Cacau has impressed when he has played,” said Low.

That leaves Stefan Kiessling as the fourth candidate in the attack, and the likely odd man out, at least on Sunday, despite being the top German goalscorer in the Bundesliga last season.

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