Germany want power show, Czechs eye ‘little miracle’
Germany want a show of power in today’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against a Czech Republic side hoping for ‘a little miracle’ against the world champions. “We’re playing against a team that can only be defeated in exceptional circumstances. We hope for a little miracle,” Czech coach Karel Jarolim told German magazine Kicker.
Despite his flattery, the Czechs meet a German team capable of dominating opponents, yet can struggle to turn possession into pressure. Germany are currently a long way from the polished goal-machine which lifted the World Cup two years ago. Jarolim is in a rebuilding phase without the likes of veteran play-maker Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal legend now at Sparta Prague, and Gunners’ goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Both wing backs, Gebre Selassie of Werder Bremen and Pavel Kaderabek of Hoffenheim, ply their trade in Germany’s top flight. Sampdoria’s 20-year-old striker Patrik Schick is set to win just his second cap. The Czechs were held to a goalless draw by Northern Ireland in their opening qualifier in Prague on September 4, the same night Germany enjoyed a 3-0 win away to Norway when Thomas Mueller netted twice. Germany’s aim is to stay top of Group C by beating the Czechs, then Northern Ireland next Tuesday in Hanover.—AFP