Germany v Northern Ireland: Mario Gomez's injury is a Low blow
Germany have been dealt a blow after Wolfsburg striker Mario Gomez was ruled out of their World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland.
The 31-year-old suffered a "hardened buttock muscle" according to his club and has been withdrawn from the national squad after failing to train yesterday.
"Mario Gomez must pass on the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic (October 8 in Hamburg) and Northern Ireland (October 11 in Hannover)," the Wolfsburg statement said.
"(He) was forced to pull out of the DFB selection due to hardening of a buttock muscle and will not participate in training for a couple of days."
Arguably, the loss of Gomez isn't a huge one for manager Joachim Low due to the striker's poor form - he is yet to hit the back of the net since joining Wolfsburg from Fiorentina in the summer.
However, it will be a great relief for Michael O'Neill and Northern Ireland, who won't have to face the man who scored the only goal in their Euro 2016 finals meeting back in June.
On that day Gomez was on top form and could have scored a few more but for the heroics of Michael McGovern in goal.
With his main striker sidelined, it is likely Low will turn to either Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze or Bayer Leverkusen's Kevin Volland to lead the line in their two qualifiers.