Belfast Telegraph

Low is confident Germany can hit the ground running

By Adam McKendry

Germany boss Joachim Low is confident his side will pick up a win against Ukraine tomorrow in their opening game of Euro 2016 despite their injury woes.

Low had to leave Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan at home and defender Antonio Rudiger tore a cruciate ligament during training on Tuesday.

Along with existing issues for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who only just returned from injury in their pre-tournament friendly with Hungary, and Mats Hummels, it leaves the World champions with a restricted hand from which to choose.

Despite the injury concerns, Low has stated that he is confident his side will win the game.

"If we play to our strengths we'll have a good game and a strong start to the tournament," Low said. "But we cannot rely solely upon our playing skills against sides such as Ukraine. That would be a big mistake."

Manuel Neuer will captain the Germans if Schweinsteiger misses out while full-back Jonas Hector, the only squad member not to feature in the 2014 World Cup, is set to start at left-back.

Ukraine are set to name dangerous pair Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka as their wingers, but the experienced Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is likely to only be on the bench.

Germany have made the knockout stages in every one of their World Cup appearances, but in the Euros have exited at the group stage three times: finishing third in their section in 1984 and 2004, and bottom in 2000.



Euro 2016 Group C:

Lille, Sunday, 8.00 pm

Belfast Telegraph