World Cup qualifiers: Sami Khedira to captain Germany in Manuel Neuer's absence - Firstpost
Firstpost

World Cup qualifiers: Sami Khedira to captain Germany in Manuel Neuer's absence


By

Berlin: Marc-Andre ter Stegen will replace Germany captain Manuel Neuer for Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier at San Marino with Ilkay Gundogan to make his first international start for a year.

Germany players in training. AFP

Germany players in training. AFP

Barcelona's goalkeeper Ter Stegen steps in with Neuer ruled out of the world champion's qualifier against the tiny microstate because of a virus, and he will also sit out Tuesday's friendly against Italy in Milan.

Juventus' defensive midfielder Sami Khedira is expected to captain Germany against San Marino.

Gundogan, who has been in impressive form for the Citizens, and Wolfsburg striker Mario Gomez will both start the qualifier, head coach Joachim Loew has confirmed.

"I believe Marc-Andre ter Stegen will play tomorrow and (Bayer Leverkusen's) Bernd Leno will play against Italy," said Loew in Thursday's press conference.

"Gundogan and Gomez will also start, as for the rest I have to see in training."

Gundogan, who scored two goals in City's recent stunning 3-1 Champions League win over Barcelona, has come off the bench in Germany's last two qualifiers.

A dislocated knee ruled him out of Euro 2016 and he will make his first start for die Mannschaft since the 2-1 win over Georgia in October 2015 which booked Germany's place at the European championships in France.

A heavy win is expected for Germany in their final qualifier of 2016 having already won their first three games to sit top of Group C.

The part-timers of San Marino are bottom of the table.

Germany romped to a 13-0 win in 2006 at Serravalle's Olympic Stadium, the same ground which will host Friday's qualifier.

However, San Marino have not been beaten by more than four goals in any of their three games so far.

They scored their first goal for 15 years in a World Cup qualifier in losing 4-1 to Norway in Oslo last month.

Loew says Germany's aim is to get three more qualifying points, not break their record for a victory -- a 16-0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

"Those days are over," said Loew.

"You can see that San Marino in their last few games that they kept the score down for most of the matches.

"They have good players and our aim is not to set a goal record."

First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 10:43 IST

Comment using Disqus

Show Comments