Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has said the pressure to perform has fired up competition amongst Germany's defenders ahead of Tuesday's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Faroe Islands. Having leaked nine goals in their three prior friendly internationals, Germany maintained their five-point lead in European Group C with an emphatic 3-0 win over Austria in Munich on Friday ahead of Tuesday's match in the Atlantic archipelago.
Against Austria, Mertesacker was paired with Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng, who replaced Mats Hummels at centre-back after last month's 3-3 friendly draw against Paraguay. Mertesacker said no one in the German squad will be resting on their laurels for the trip to the Faroe Islands, who have lost all seven of their qualification matches so far.
"Jerome and I have our noses in front, but we have to be careful to defend as a team," Mertesacker said. "Even if you don't play, you have to support the team and you never know when you'll be needed or what the next team selection will be. We have plenty of good individual players, but what is important is that the team evolves."
A win will confirm Germany's qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil if second-placed Sweden fail to beat Kazakhstan on Tuesday, but an artificial pitch awaits the Germans in Torshavn and both teams will share the same Faroe Islands hotel.
"We have been warned to expect difficult conditions, we have to adapt to the pitch as soon as possible, but with the 3-0 result behind us, we are confident we can take the next step towards the World Cup," added Mertesacker.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus is the only injury doubt having missed training on Sunday to recover in bed from a stomach infection ahead of Monday's flight.