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Page last updated at 06:35 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 07:35 UK

Germany 'expected' to beat Wales

WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: Wales v Germany
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Wednesday, 1 April Kick-off: 1945 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online, live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles and live on Sky Sports 1


Oliver Bierhoff
Oliver Bierhoff scored 37 goals in 70 internationals for Germany

Oliver Bierhoff expects Germany to live up to their giant billing and brush aside Wales in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier at The Millennium Stadium.

The Germans want to extend their Group Four lead to seven points over Russia as World Cup qualification hots up.

Bierhoff said: "We know there are no 'gimmees' in World Cup qualifying but we must remember that we were runners-up at the European Championships.

"And, therefore, we should be able to beat a team such as Wales."

West Germany and the current unified German team have lifted both the World Cup and European Championship trophy on three occasions and Germany are currently ranked second in the world, 66 places above the Welsh.

Bierhoff is wary of dropping points at the Millennium Stadium and handing the initiative to Russia, who the Germans face away from home in October.

"We want to strengthen our position in the table and hopefully qualify before we meet Russia," he added.

"Therefore we must not drop any points against Wales."

Germany's 4-0 weekend win over Liechtenstein moved them four points clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group Four although they have played a game more than the Russians.

Germany's boss Joachim Loew hopes Wales to throw caution to the wind in a desperate bid to revive their flagging World Cup qualifying dreams.

Wales manager Toshack said Wales' qualification hopes were over after their 2-0 home defeat to Finland on Saturday.

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German boss Loew said: "They must win against us if they want to still have a theoretical chance of qualifying.

"They will probably play an attacking game - I hope that will create a few holes at the back for us.

"Our goal is three points, so that we go into the summer break as league leaders.

"But it is also clear that Wales are a different calibre to Liechtenstein.

"The Welsh wanted to improve their place in the table with two home victories.

"That didn't happen so against us they will try to show a reaction after the defeat against Finland.

"If we don't put up a fight against Wales and get at least a point, we're not worth being in South Africa, Loew said Tuesday.

"From what I read, I think the coaching staff and Toshack in particular is putting the emphasis on points and hurt pride.

"They are just as dangerous as a boxer who is hurt and out for retaliation.

"And whenever the opponent is Germany, you can always feel each and every player adds that extra 20 percent in work rate."

A disappointing defeat to Finland and a disappointing crowd have been compounded by the fact Germany's superstar midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is to be fit to play in Wales.

The Bayern Munich midfielder suffered a groin injury in Germany's 4-0 win over minnows Liechtenstein in Leipzig on Saturday but is set to recover.

Bierhoff, the famous golden goal-scorer that won Germany the 1996 European Championships crown, revealed it was not serious enough to keep him out of Wednesday's game.

He said: "Bastian has a slight problem with his adductor but his availability for Wednesday is not in doubt.

"That he left training early on Monday was purely a precautionary measure. He still has another half day to rest."

Germany will, though, be without prolific striker Miroslav Klose due to an ankle problem.


Wales' squad to face Germany on 1 April:
Wayne Hennessey (Wolves), Boaz Myhill (Hull), Lewis Price (Derby County), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), James Collins (West Ham), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Lewin Nyatanga (Derby), Sam Ricketts (Hull), Ashley Williams (Swansea), Simon Davies (Fulham), David Edwards (Wolves), Carl Fletcher (Plymouth), Owain Tudur Jones (Swindon), Jason Koumas (Wigan), Joe Ledley (Cardiff), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Carl Robinson (Toronto), Craig Bellamy (Manchester City), David Cotterill (Sheffield United), Robert Earnshaw (Nottingham Forest), Ched Evans (Manchester City), Sam Vokes (Wolves).

Germany's squad to face Wales:
Robert Enke (Hannover), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Andreas Hinkel (Celtic), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Marcel Schäfer (Wolfsburg), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (FC Schalke), Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Stuttgart), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Marko Marin (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg), Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Stefan Kießling (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich)



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see also
Collins issues Wales rallying cry
30 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Players need club games - Toshack
29 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Bellamy writes off Wales chances
28 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Wales 0-2 Finland
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results 2009
07 Feb 09 |  Internationals
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales


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