Germany’s Werner fully fit, trio doubtful against Swiss – Loew
COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) – Germany striker Timo Werner is fully fit for their Nations League game against Switzerland on Tuesday but there are still doubts about Julian Draxler, Lukas Klostermann and Marcel Halstenberg, coach Joachim Loew said.
Germany will need all the attacking power they can get after narrowly beating Ukraine 2-1 on Saturday for their first win in the last four internationals. They drew the previous three games after leading in all of them.
“Timo Werner is back to full strength and there are no weaknesses,” Loew said of the Chelsea forward, who had only managed a brief appearance against Ukraine after missing their 3-3 draw against Turkey last week with flu. “He is available.
“But we have small question marks. Draxler has Achilles problems, Halstenberg is dealing with adductors and Klostermann has knee problems.”
The Germans, in second place in the group on five points, two behind leaders Spain, have struggled in recent weeks and have just one win in their three group matches so far.
They had also led three times against Turkey to settle for a 3-3 draw in their friendly match.
Victory against the Swiss, in last place on one point, would take some of the pressure off Loew, who has been sharply criticised for his team’s recent performances and especially the defensive operation.
Among those vocal critics is 1990 world champion Lothar Matthaeus who has claimed Loew’s tactical errors, including a three-man backline instead of four, have been to blame for their poor performances.
“There are different opinions in football,” Loew said. “The experts have to express their opinions and that is completely fine and certainly not lacking respect.
“What is important is that we criticise ourselves internally and we do that.”
The coach, who has been in charge for 14 years, said he expected his team to be more aggressive against the Swiss.
“I expect concentration, more precision, courage and the right attacking accents,” Loew said. “It will be a completely different game than against Ukraine. The Swiss can defend extremely well.”