Germany are set to make two changes to the side that hammered Ireland on Friday night as they host Sweden in Berlin tomorrow night. The game could prove crucial to Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for Brazil in 2014.
Captain Philip Lahm returns to recalim his place at right back at the expense of Jerome Boateng while Sami Khedira, who was withdrawn at half time due to a calf injury, will be replaced by Tony Kroos. Joachim Lowe moved to quickly emphasise that Khedira’s injury was not serious and the Madrid star will likely be back for club action next week. It simply underlines the strength in depth of the German squad that they could replace him with a player of Kroos’ class who scored two stunning long range goals at Lansdowne on Friday night.
Sweden have a full squad to choose from and will likely elect to make some changes to the side that scraped out a win against Nordic minnows Faroe Islands. Hamburg’s Marcus Berg or Galatasary’s Johan Elmander could come in for Mathias Ranegie in attack while Alexander Kacaniklic will be hoping his strike from the bench did enough to earn him a starting spot.
Many commentators have been calling for Trappatoni’s departure after Friday’s humiliating defeat to Germany but the Italian maintains that the result changes nothing. The plan was always to compete for 2nd place and if Germany beat Sweden and Ireland overcome the Faroes, Brazil 2014 is still on track.