Germany coach Joachim Low is wary of the threat of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but insists he is lucky to have a forward like Miroslav Klose in his squad. The UEFA EURO 2012 semi-finalists have a 100 per cent record from their first three matches and host the Swedes, with two wins from two, tomorrow.
Ibrahimovic has been the Scandinavians' leading light for many years and is in good form for new club Paris Saint-Germain, with nine goals in eight matches already this season. However, Low praised the qualities of the 34-year-old Klose, who has five goals in seven appearances for Lazio and is Germany's all-time joint top scorer at the FIFA World Cup™.
"Of course it must be noted that the offensive play of Sweden is tailored to Ibrahimovic and in difficult situations he can find the right solutions and score goals," said Low. "Sweden also work great as a team and they seem to lift themselves against large teams.
"They are super-organised, they trust in their defence and they have Ibrahimovic so we must not give up too much space. But every coach is lucky if he has a Miroslav Klose in the team."
The key to Germany is that we are 100 per cent right in defence, we must not make the same mistake as we did in the European Championship finals.
"He is the leading scorer at the World Cup. This is an uncommonly good performance and that speaks volumes. He has always been a player who has had many opportunities as a striker. He is very important for the way we play. He is very complete and he brings our game on."
Defender Philipp Lahm returns from suspension but midfielder Sami Khedira is an injury doubt. The match represents Sweden's biggest challenge since they crashed out of EURO 2012 having lost their opening two matches.
Coach Erik Hamren insists he has learned lessons from that experience. "The key to Germany is that we are 100 per cent right in defence, we must not make the same mistake as we did in the European Championship finals," he said. "And even if we are 100 per cent in defence they will still create chances."
Elsewhere in the group Austria are looking for their first win at home to Kazakhstan, while the Republic of Ireland will look to bounce back from Friday's 6-1 drubbing by Germany as they travel to bottom side the Faroe Islands.