World Cup 2014 qualifiers’ preview: Kazakhstan vs Germany
Kazakhstan is coming to the match against Germany with a bitter sense of underestimation after Joachim Loew put under question their right to compete against European powerhouse.
The manager questioned if it “made sporting sense“ for the major European national sides to compete against small countries like “Kazakhstan, Andorra, San Marino or the Faroe Islands“.
Germany stands top of Group C with three victories from four matches, while Kazakhstan who face Germany in in Astana on Friday before making the trip to Nuremberg for the return fixture four days later, are second to bottom.
Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber and Toni Kroos are set miss the fixture due to injuries, though Loew’s men are still far better side and should prove that easily taking into account their recent 2-1 friendly win over France, the first one for more than 26 years. The only real question for Loew is who to put in attack alongside Mario Gomez as prolific Miroslav Klose’s is sidelined for a month.
Kazakhstan surprisingly played in a draw against Austria in October, yet that remains the only positive result for the side that scored just one goal in the tournament. Kazakhstan have a long way to go if they are ever to qualify for a major tournament, but have improved in recent years and are now 139th in the FIFA World Rankings.
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