Ger­many want power show, Czechs eye ‘lit­tle mir­a­cle’

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


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

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