worldcup 2010


Saturday, 3 July 2010

Podolski and Mesut Ozil clash with Argentina today

Germany sweat on Podolski, Ozil
Germany coach Joachim Low revealed on Friday he is waiting on the fitness of midfielders Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil ahead of today’s World Cup quarter-final clash with Argentina.
Both played a key part in the stunning 4-1 victory over England in last Sunday’s Round of 16 match and their attacking prowess is key to Germany’s hopes of downing Diego Maradona’s Argentina with a semi-final berth at stake.
Brazil-born striker Cacau looks set to miss the match as he is struggling to recover from a stomach muscle injury and the trio face a fitness test later on Friday.
Podolski has a muscular injury while Ozil is showing signs of fatigue and Low said he will assess the trio’s fitness at the final training session on Friday evening here at Green Point Stadium.
‘Podolski had a hardening in his muscle and we decided to be cautious and give him some physio sessions,’ said Low about the attacking midfielder who scored in the 4-1 rout of England.
‘The plan is for him to contribute and take part in the final training session, if he were to fail the test this afternoon we will have to look at other options.’
Low expects Ozil to play and said he wanted to give the 21-year-old dynamo some rest after a long season.
‘He will practise and train again this evening, he worked hard against England and I saw he needed an extra day of rest,’ said Low.
‘Mesut was part of the Germany Under-21 team which won the European Championships last June and he didn’t have much of a break last summer.’
The 50-year-old Germany coach says he is impressed with the fitness of the squad’s fringe players and has an array of ‘secret weapons’ to chose from in his arsenal of bench players.
‘I have been watching the different training units and the level of fitness is extremely good,’ said Low.
‘At any point, I have secret weapons and trump cards to call on who may not have had much experience on the pitch, but whenever I decide to bring someone on they are able to excel.
‘I have no reservations about any of the players, Lukas Podolski is very important to us, but I would not hesitate to bring on Marcell Jansen, Marko Marin or Toni Kroos if necessary.
‘Every single player has a role to play in this team.’

(Agence France-Presse . Cape Town)

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