Bierhoff: Dutch clash is 'serious'
Germany qualified for UEFA EURO 2012 with a perfect record of ten wins out of ten, but they almost came unstuck against Ukraine on Friday. Coach Joachim Low experimented with his side for that match and was fortunate to see them recover to draw 3-3 in Kiev.
But Bierhoff expects a stronger performance at the HSV-Arena on Tuesday. "We want to win, of course," he said. "We want to win the last game of the year at home, and it would be twice as nice to do so against Holland.
"This is not a test against a weaker opponent, or like in Ukraine where we tested things that we had not tried before. It is a very serious game and we hope to send out a signal.
"It is not decisive, but I would still be pleased if we sent out a signal and confirmed that Germany keep on going, that they don't lose and that they can beat the big nations like Brazil and, hopefully, Holland."
The HSV-Arena is already sold out for the final international game of the calendar year and Bierhoff says the choice of the venue and the opponents was no coincidence.
"A lot of thought goes into our match planning and I hope the people of Hamburg will support us," he said. "If not, then that will mean we have failed. The Dutch are the kind of opponents who make a big contribution to an attractive game. The quality of both sides should lead to this being an entertaining encounter."
Klose form is key
Miroslav Klose should return to the Germany team as captain after missing the trip to Kiev with a knee injury. His form for Italian club Lazio has led to comparisons being made with Bierhoff, who was Serie A's top goalscorer with 27 goals in 1998, and he feels Klose has benefited from his move abroad.
"The Italians are quick to praise players and it is impressive how quickly Klose has settled in there," he said. "I was a bit worried about how he would be accepted at Lazio, but it has worked well.
"He is happy there and has his family with him and this is doing him good. I am convinced that he will have a very successful season in Italy and that this will also be of benefit to the national team."
While Klose, Manuel Neuer and Marco Reus return to the squad, Marcel Schmelzer has been forced to leave due to a calf strain.