Low demands focus for Azerbaijan

Germany coach Joachim Low demanded a high level of concentration from his stars on Monday on the eve of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against the minnows of Azerbaijan in Cologne.

"We need the points, we need to win this game. When I talk to the players, I get the impression that they want to put in a big performance," Low told reporters ahead of the game.

Low acknowledged it was harder to get motivated for a match against Azerbaijan than "a World Cup game against Argentina, (coach Diego) Maradona and (forward Lionel) Messi," but insisted his team would be fully focused.

"Of course it would be a massive setback for us if we don't get the three points, but I am confident we will win," Low said.

Germany beat Azerbaijan 4-0 in Hanover and 2-0 in Baku last year in FIFA World Cup qualifiers but Low warned that the away team, managed by German coach Berti Vogts, would be no pushovers.

"These games are always difficult because basically, these teams have nothing to lose," he said.

Germany beat Belgium 1-0 win in Brussels last Friday to get their EURO 2012 campaign off to a good start.

With Michael Ballack still working his way back to fitness after the ankle injury that kept him out of the FIFA World Cup, full-back Philipp Lahm will captain the side again.

Left-back Marcell Jansen is the only casualty from the team that beat Belgium as Werder Bremen's Per Mertesacker is expected to be named alongside Bayern Munich's Holger Badstuber in central defence.

Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller will lead Germany's attack behind striker Miroslav Klose, although Cologne's Podolski had a quiet game in Brussels and will want to impress at his home stadium.