Germany coach Joachim Low has promised to entertain the fans
Germany coach Joachim Low has promised to entertain the fans in the friendly against Paraguay.
Last Updated: 13/08/13 1:29pm
Germany coach Joachim Low has promised to entertain the fans in Kaiserslautern on Wednesday night while promising both of his Italy-based strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez a slice of the action against Paraguay.
The first test of the new season for the national team may not have any value towards qualifying for next summer's World Cup, but with two potentially decisive qualifying games coming next month, Low is going to put his strongest side to the test and demand they give it their all at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.
Twenty thousand fans turned out in driving rain to see the squad training in nearby Mainz and Low believes his team have a duty to take the international friendly seriously.
"It was moving for all of us to have 20,000 fans come to watch us train," he said. "That showed how big a bond we have with our fans.
"They want to see us fight and they want to enjoy themselves when they see us play."
What the fans do not want to see is a repeat of the leaky defence laid bare in some of Germany's recent friendlies.
They shipped four goals against the United States and two to Ecuador in their last two matches while Switzerland breached their defence five times over a year ago and Sweden put four past them in a World Cup qualifier.
Nevertheless, Low has vowed not to abandon his side's cavalier approach.
"Of course it's an important issue for us to be compact in defence, but the thing I love the most is playing attacking football," he said at a press conference.
"I want a team who plays as much as possible in the opponents' half. Of course the defence should suffer for this, but it's true that we have been conceding too many.
"It's hard to have a strong defence without playing catenaccio [an Italian defensive tactic] while still being able to score two or three goals."
He will therefore turn to players who know, or will soon know, all about catenaccio.
"Mario Gomez and Miro Klose are decisive players for me," he said, referring to the Fiorentina and Lazio fowards who are set to play a half each in Kaiserslautern.
"If nothing decisive happens, then they are my first choice."
Low does not expect any of the players who start the game to be on the field of the play at the end, saying he "will probably use a full complement of substitutes", while emphasising that tomorrow's game is important in view of next summer's World Cup and will therefore not be so much about experimenting.
"We need to develop because we want to play an important role at the World Cup and the Paraguay game is an important test for us to warm up," he added.
"They have a different style of play to European sides and, on the way to Brazil, it's good if we play against one or two sides from South America to get used to this different style."
That style is bound to be an attacking one, according to defender Mats Hummels, who meets up with a familiar face in German football, Roque Santa Cruz. The pair were team mates for Bayern Munich between 2006 and 2007.
"South American sides are renowned for playing attacking football," he said. "I don't really know much about them, but we'll find out in our video analysis."
Paraguay will use the game as a warm-up for a pivotal World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on 6 September.
With just eight points from 12 games, they currently sit at the foot of the South American qualifiers and defeat to Bolivia, who are second from the bottom of the group with two points more, would all but mathematically end their hopes of finishing inside the top five.