Low: Uruguay will be no picnic
Sunday's match in Sinsheim, south-west Germany, will be a rematch of the third-place play-off at last year's FIFA World Cup™, but this time the hosts will be without both key midfielders Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Germany are using the game to prepare for qualifiers against Austria, in Vienna on 3 June, and Azerbaijan in Baku on 7 June. They already have one foot in the finals having won all five of their opening Group A encounters.
Uruguay are preparing for the Copa America which will be held in Argentina 1-24 July and face Peru in the first game. The Uruguayans will be looking to avenge their 3-2 defeat in Port Elizabeth last July, but Germany will field a make-shift midfield with Leverkusen's Simon Rolfes likely to partner Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos.
As the season has virtually finished in Germany, Low is demanding a high-class performance from his side, who were shocked by Australia in their last international at the end of March. "It won't be easy to motivate the players as they have had a few days off to enjoy since the end of the Bundesliga season," said Low.
"But we have to raise our concentration again in the week before the Austria game. We have two important games coming up which can improve our chances of qualifying for the Euros, so this will be no picnic in the park. I am confident the players involved will have the right attitude for the task ahead."
With Schweinsteiger and Dortmund's Sven Bender both out, Low has called up ex-Under-21 star Benidikt Howedes, who has impressed with Schalke 04 this season and can play in defence or as a defensive midfielder. "Certainly it is not easy to replace Bastian Schweinsteiger," said Low. "But in Simon Rolfes, (Stuttgart's) Christian Traesch or Toni Kroos, we have midfield alternatives who have already proven their qualities."
With Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer rarely out of the spotlight recently due to his seemingly imminent transfer from Schalke to Bayern Munich, Low says the 25-year-old is well equipped to cope with the pressure. "No, I do see a problem," said Low.
"Manuel is dealing with the situation is a very professional manner and it is not weighing him down. Regardless of how things may go, Manuel has assured me that he is looking forward to the three games."