German Coach Joachim Loew has revealed several key players selected in his provisional 27 man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in June are nursing potentially campaign threatening injuries, and will have to prove their fitness if to play any role in what could be a successful tournament.
While Lazio striker Miroslav Klose and Real Madrid centre Sami Khedira will have to earn their keep after returning from long stints on the sideline this season with injury, it is Bayern Munich champion trio Manuel Neuer, captain Philipp Lahm and vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger that arguably pose the greatest chance of missing world football’s pinnacle event.
“With regard to the World Cup participation on Manuel and Philipp, we are optimistic, but both will be treated intensively” Loew told AFP.
“It is good and also important that they will be with use from the start for in the Tirol, even if they won’t initially be able to train” Loew added of Germany’s scheduled training camp to begin in the South Tirolean resort of St Leonhard on Wednesday.
With several in-form players from the most recent German season included in Loew’s current squad, the coach said every player selected in the final 23-man team must be in full health and earn his position on the plane to Brazil.
“The tournament will certainly challenge all the players physically” Loew said.
“Those who go with us to Brazil must all have top fitness and be in a good playing rhythm; that is what the training camp is all about.
“There will be some hard choices, but that is part of my job.”
Germany will begin their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign against fellow European entrants Portugal in Salvador on June 16th; a match for which they are current resounding favourites at $1.91 at Ladbrokes Australia.
Arguably selecting one of the most talented squads of any entered nation, Germany is currently sole occupant of the third line of betting for success in Brazil, offered at a quote of $6.50 at Ladbrokes to lift the World Cup on July 13th.