Belfast Telegraph

Goretzka injury forces Low to reshuffle pack for Dutch test


Blow: Leon Goretzka won’t play against Holland
Blow: Leon Goretzka won’t play against Holland

By Robert Jones

Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka will play no part in tonight's Euro 2020 qualifier against Holland in Hamburg.

Joachim Low's side will be without a host of key players as they bid to knock Northern Ireland off top spot on goal difference in Group C with victory at Volksparkstadion.

Leroy Sane, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Antonio Rudiger have all been ruled out through injury and Bayern Munich's Goretzka will remain sidelined after aggravating a heavy bruise while training with Low's squad this week.

"Leon Goretzka is nursing a minor injury that has been nagging him for some time. He will not be able to play," Low said.

"This means I have to think about other options. It is a shame because this young team needs to play with more or less the same starting line-up over several matches.

"It's very important for a young team to gain familiarity, but we will still go into the game with a spring in our step despite the missing players."

Goretzka has yet to feature for Bayern in the Bundesliga this season after sustaining a dead leg during the summer.

Germany are aiming to make it back-to-back qualifying wins against Holland following their dramatic 3-2 win in Amsterdam in March and Low has every faith in his new generation.

Bayern winger Serge Gnabry will start and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz is also expected to feature in Low's starting line-up.

"Gnabry attacks the goal at speed, is good technically and moves around a lot between the lines," Low added. "That makes him hard to pick up. Serge is fit and will start tomorrow. With me, Serge is always going to play."

• Stephen Frail's Northern Ireland Under-19 side defeated Faroe Islands 5-0 in Newry yesterday.

Chris McKee (2), Jake Corbett, Callum Ferris and Liam Smith grabbed the goals in the friendly.

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