Midfield maestro Marco Reus has said Germany are looking to produce another impressive display, similar to their rout of the Republic of Ireland, when they host Sweden in Tuesday's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier. Ireland were beaten 6-1 in Dublin on Friday with Borussia Dortmund's Reus scoring twice as Germany stayed top of Group C by picking up their third win in three games.
Joachim Low's side dominated their hosts at Dublin's Aviva Stadium despite having gone into the game under pressure from the German media following lacklustre displays against Faroe Islands and Austria last month.
Reus now expects the same high standard for the match against Sweden with Paris Saint-Germain's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their ranks. "That was once again the football we know from Germany," said the former Borussia Monchengladbach-man. "Ibrahimovic is an absolute world-class player, but we will play on Tuesday with a our heads held high."
The confidence has returned to the German team following a three-month absence in the wake of their UEFA EURO 2012 semi-final defeat to Italy, but team manager Oliver Bierhoff dampened growing expectations after the Irish win.
There had been hints of unrest in the Germany camp recently after vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger said friction had emerged during the campaign in Poland and Ukraine, with Bierhoff said the good work must continue. "We shouldn't rush into euphoria again and insist everything is now resolved. We have to keep working hard," he said.
[Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is an absolute world-class player, but we will play on Tuesday with a our heads held high.
Having missed the win over Ireland through suspension, Germany captain Philipp Lahm will return for Tuesday's game and the Bayern Munich star said the aim is to claim another three points. "That was fun (against Ireland). You could see we played really creative football and we can take teams like Ireland apart," said Lahm.
"All that counts now is Sweden, we are very focused. We are facing a dangerous team, perhaps the strongest opponent in the group and we want to bring in the next three points."
Veteran striker Miroslav Klose scored Germany's fourth goal against the Irish to give him his 65th goal on his 125th appearance and put him ever closer to Gerd Mueller's record of 68 goals for the Germans. But Klose dismissed any talk of records.
"If we can prepare properly for the game and a few things go our way, we will get a result," said the 34-year-old. "Much has been written (about the record), but it is best if I keep my mouth shut and concentrate on football."
Germany may have to do without Real Madrid star Sami Khedira after straining his left thigh in the win over Ireland. The 25-year-old came off at half-time but Low is hoping the defensive midfielder will be fit for the match at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
"Nothing is torn, we must now wait for the next few days to see how the healing goes," said Low after Khedira missed training today. "We managed to get him off before the injury became more serious."
Khedira was replaced by Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos, who scored two second-half goals at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, but Loew said he expects to have Dortmund's Mario Gotze available to face the Swedes. Gotze missed the game against Ireland with injury, but the 20-year-old trained with the German team in Berlin on Sunday. "He had tweaked a muscle, but he should be fit for Tuesday," said Low.