x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Low taking a high number of strikers

Germany will travel to the World Cup with all six strikers from their preliminary squad to keep their offensive options open, Joachim Low, the coach, said.

Germany will travel to the World Cup with all six strikers from their preliminary squad to keep their offensive options open, Joachim Low, the coach, said yesterday. Low had nominated Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, both out of form this season, as well as Mario Gomez, Cacau, Stefan Kiessling and Thomas Mueller in his preliminary 27-man squad. "Our plan is to have all six strikers with us at the World Cup because we want to be flexible," Low told SID sports agency." I want to have sufficient options to react if needed."

Carlo Costly, the Honduras striker, will miss the World Cup after fracturing a bone in his right foot. Costly, one his country's main strikers with six goals during the qualifiers, was injured on Thursday playing for Vaslui, his Romanian club. "We are sure now that it's a fracture and it will take six weeks to heal," Oscar Benitez, the team doctor, told Diez, the Honduran newspaper.

Pest control could be the best method to combat Japan at the World Cup, Takeshi Okada said after naming his final squad yesterday. "Japan are like a swarm of feasting flies," Okada told reporters, adding that the tournament would be his swan song as coach. "It is work rate and organisation that symbolises my team. For Japan to win games, we need to be tenacious and aggressive."

Luis Perea, the Colombia centre-back, has defended pop star Shakira, against criticism in South Africa for singing the official World Cup anthem. "I like it. I love it, like all her music," said Perea, of Atletico Madrid. "It's hard to find a bad song by Shakira." Waka Waka - Time for Africa is inspired by Cameroonian music, but fans are not convinced the Colombian singer should be representing Africa.