Mertesacker to target Cahill
Per Mertesacker has stated that Germany will try and stop Tim Cahill when they face Australia.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 08/06/10 2:59pm
Germany defender Per Mertesacker has stated that they will try and stop Tim Cahill as they prepare to face Australia in their opening game of the World Cup.
The three-time world champions face the Socceroos on Sunday in Group D in a tough group also featuring Serbia and Ghana.
The Werder Bremen defender made it clear the importance of getting off to a good start in the tournament, and that marking Everton midfielder Cahill out of the game would give them a greater chance of success.
"Tim Cahill has enormous experience and has grown tremendously in England, he is one of Australia's most dangerous players and will be their midfield maestro," said Mertesacker, who is likely to partner Hertha Berlin's Arne Friedrich in the centre of defence.
"But if we can mark him tightly, it will make it hard for him to play a role.
"We will try and nip his attacks in the bud, and even maybe double mark him," he said.
"But he is still dangerous and can create chances in front of goal, so it will be hard to contain him."
Good start essential
The 6ft 6in centre-back was a part of his team's run to the semi-finals as tournament hosts in 2006, but he admitted Germany were itching to get a win under their belts.
"We are concentrating on the first group game, because we know a lot can happen in the group stages, especially early on," Mertesacker added.
"We need to get as many points as possible, as soon as possible.
"I don't want to be negative about it, but it would be a very bad start for us to lose the opening game to Australia.
"The next few training sessions will be decisive to get organised come the Australia game.
"We are all really dying to get cracking after all this time waiting."