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Homework done, Germany ready for Algerian test

June 30, 2014 13:46 IST

Homework done, Germany ready for Algerian test

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Germany coach Joachim Loew admitted he might not know the names of the Algeria players his team will face in a World Cup second-round match on Monday but he has seen enough of their tenacious style to know it will be a tough game.

The Algerians have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament, reaching to the knockout stage for the first time. But Loew said the Germans have done their homework and know exactly what to expect from North Africans at Beira Rio stadium.

"We may not be too familiar with the names but certainly we have been looking into the performance of the Algerian team for years," Loew told reporters on Sunday ahead of his team's final training session at rainy Porto Alegre.

"We know how they train, we know they have a strong French influence. We know that many of these players went to France and played and trained in the youth teams. The names may not be that familiar but the qualities certainly are."

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Image: Germany's players warm up during a training session
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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'We have to win that match and go forward step-by-step'

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Loew insisted his men are not looking beyond Monday's round of 16 match. Yet there was an unmistakable air of confidence about the three-times world champions as they went about their final preparations in a methodical, clinical way.

The unflappable Germans seemed unperturbed by the heavy rains that forced the teams to hold their news briefings at one stadium and travel cross-town to train at another stadium.

"We can't look ahead to the next round, we have to find a solution for tomorrow," Loew said in his matter-of-fact manner.

"We have to win that match and go forward step-by-step. If we can tap into our resources and energy we'll win the match."

The German coach said he had not settled on his lineup - with the main open question on whether he would start with Sami Khedira or Bastian Schweinsteiger in the holding midfielder position. Schweinsteiger played well against the United States as a starter while Khedira was sharp against Portugal and Ghana. 

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Image: Joachim Loew, head coach of Germany gestures
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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'I have not yet completed my consideration to the lineup'

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Earlier on Sunday, Loew confirmed that winger Lukas Podolski would miss the Algeria match after he picked up a thigh muscle injury in their last group game against the United States.

The 29-year-old, who has won 116 caps and is playing in his third World Cup, came on as a substitute in the opening 4-0 win over Portugal but did not play in the group game against Ghana.

Full back Jerome Boateng, who missed practice with a minor knee inflammation on Saturday, is expected to be back in training later on Sunday, according to Loew.

"I have not yet completed my consideration to the lineup," Loew told reporters. "Both (Schweinsteiger and Khedira) are able to play from the start. Sami Khedira played twice from the start Bastian Schweinsteiger once and he is making a much better impression in training than a few weeks ago.

"Both are important for the team and I think I will decide by my gut feeling. Both are perfectly able to fulfill their duties...I think it is matter of having a feeling this evening." 

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Image: Sami Khedira of Germany shoots the ball
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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