Germany not complacent, says Schweinsteiger

Captain eyes a win over Gibraltar in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Afp June 12, 2015
The world champions have suffered a slump in form since the World Cup and are currently second behind Poland in their Euro 2016 group. PHOTO: AFP

FARO: Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger insists the world champions will not underestimate Gibraltar in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier.

The Germans are joint second in Group D, a point behind leaders Poland, as they head to Faro, Portugal, for Saturday’s tie against the part-timers who have lost all five qualifiers so far, leaking 27 goals in the process.

A shock defeat in Poland and a home draw against the Republic of Ireland means Germany find themselves in the unusual situation of having to fight for first place.

“We won’t make the mistake of underestimating Gibraltar,” said Schweinsteiger. “We know that we’re better than them and it’s clear that we have to pick up a win there, but it doesn’t have to be double-digits [in terms of goals].”

The game is being held at Faro’s Estadio Algarve, Gibraltar’s home ground, even though it lies several hundred kilometres from the British territory.

The team from the tiny Iberian peninsula have a Scottish caretaker coach in Dave Wilson after Allen Bula was sacked in March, four games into their campaign, after four years in charge.

Bula was boss when Germany trounced Gibraltar 4-0 in Nuremberg last November, which was greeted as something of a triumph by the visitors given the huge gulf in class between the two.

Gibraltar’s only win in 10 matches as a UEFA member was a 1-0 success at home against Malta in June last year and have drawn 0-0 with Slovakia and 1-1 with Estonia.

Meanwhile, Lukas Podolski is two goals shy of his 50th for Germany going into the match, in which the Arsenal forward will win his 125th cap if he features.

Germany can finish the weekend top of Group D if results go their way, with Ireland hosting Scotland in Dublin and Poland at home to Georgia on Saturday.

“It’s especially important to pick up three points,” added Schweinsteiger. “We can’t influence the other results and at the end of the day, the main priority is to qualify for Euro 2016, everything else is of secondary importance.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th,  2015.

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