Belfast Telegraph

Injury misery won't hinder Germany's bid for glory: Low

By Steven Beacom

Germany coach Joachim Low still expects his team to challenge for Euro 2016 glory despite being hit by a series of injury problems.

The Germans finish their Group C campaign against Northern Ireland in Paris on June 21 with games against Ukraine and Poland before then. They will enter those matches without Antonio Rudiger, who suffered a cruciate ligament injury earlier this week, ruling him out of the tournament.

There are also injury concerns over Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels, who are not fully fit.

Nevertheless, that has not stopped Low believing that Germany can follow up their World Cup success two years ago in Brazil with Euro joy in France.

He said: "We have to do without players who had certainly played an important role in our plans a few weeks ago.

"It's clear that I would have liked to have the squad I wished for a few months ago. But we will not moan. We have a very good team, I absolutely trust my players. We won't downgrade our claims, our goals will not be altered."

Low was full of praise for Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who he described as the 'anchor' of the side.

The German coach is keen to get off to a strong start and qualify for the knockout stages even before they face Northern Ireland in the French capital, though whether he would play back-up players against Michael O'Neill's men, should that happen, remains to be seen.

Belfast Telegraph