No extra heat on second-placed Germany, says Loew

“Compared to other years it is a bit of a different starting point.


We are used to being ahead, in pole position in groups,” Loew told reporters on the eve of the match.

“But it is not a special pressure situation. We are happy to be in this situation…it is a special challenge that I do not feel as pressure.

“Poland are on a high…they are group leaders and know they can qualify,” added Loew.

“They have good harmony and are enjoying their game. We know we will meet opponents who are dangerous.”

Loew’s team, who lost to Poland 2-0 last year, are a point behind in second place. Scotland, who are Germany’s opponents on Monday, occupy third spot on 11.

“Poland have a clear philosophy,” Loew added. “In all their games apart from Gibraltar they have had less possession than their opponents.

“They give the game to the opponent and wait. For us the issue is what solutions can we find…how can we stop their counter attacks?”

Germany are without in-form winger Marco Reus (broken toe) but can bring in Andre Schuerrle or Lukas Podolski while Loew has also confirmed that Mario Goetze will play on Friday.

Goetze, who scored the winner against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, has struggled at Bayern Munich under coach Pep Guardiola for the past two seasons.

Mesut Ozil has also been cleared to feature after missing training this week with a minor knee injury.

“Mesut will play. There are no issues with his knee now,” Loew added.

Poland coach Adam Nawalka said his players were brimming with confidence.

“First of all (confidence) comes from being first in the group,” explained Nawalka. “That this team is getting better with each game.

“We respect our rivals and have no fear…there won’t be any stage fright or anxiety.”

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann,; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Tony Jimenez)