Löw left with a single training session to prepare for Ireland | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.10.2015
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Löw left with a single training session to prepare for Ireland

Just a handful of players were able to take part in Germany's first training session ahead of the European qualifiers against Ireland and Georgia. Germany need just a single point to punch their ticket for France.

Even head coach Joachim Löw wasn't on the training pitch outside of the Commerzbank Arena for the national team's opening training session since gathering in Frankfurt on Monday. He, along with the majority of his players remained at the team's hotel, where he led them in a fitness session designed to help them recover from the rigors of last weekend's league action.

On the training pitch, assistant coach Thomas Schneider was joined by just eight players on Tuesday - goalkeepers Marc-André ter Stegen and Bernd Leno, as well as Marco Reus, Matthias Ginter, Max Kruse, Kevin Volland, André Schürrle and Sebastian Rudy.

Perhaps this should come as no surprise, with 17 members of Germany's 23-man squad having played on Sunday, many of whom were involved in the "Klassiker" between to-of-the-table Bayern Munich and second-placed Borussia Dortmund.

This has left Löw with just one training session to work with the whole team - on Wednesday evening at the Aviva stadium - to prepare his charges for their clash with Ireland.

'Nothing new'

However, speaking at press conference on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Illkay Gündogan, who was among those absent from the first training session, dismissed concerns that that the Nationalelf could suffer from a lack of preparation.

"This is nothing new for us," Gündogan said. "In the end what counts is that everyone is 100 percent by kick-off."

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng echoed the sentiment.

"The important thing is we're all fit on match day. We know each other well enough by now," he said.

EM-Qualifikation 2014 Deutschland - Irland

Lukas Podolski will miss the matches on Thursday and Sunday

Prince Poldi out, Reus ready to go

Galatasaray winger Lukas Podolski left the Germany camp on Tuesday evening after an ankle injury ruled him out of both qualifiers, confirmed national team spokesman Jens Grittner. There had been concerns about the former Arsenal man's fitness at the start of the day, and the test results confirmed he was not fit to play.

Despite fitness concerns over midfielder Karim Bellarabi, Löw confirmed on Wednesday that all players, besides Podolski, were fit to play, including Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus. His club teammate Mats Hummels is more than happy to see the 26-year old back involved.

"It's great to have Marco back," Hummels said at the press conference on Wednesday. "He's a great player and proven goalscorer and of course, he's always a welcome addition to our side."

'No foregone conclusion'

With just one full training session to prepare, Löw is expected to name a very similar side to the ones he fielded in last month's victories over Poland and Scotland. But despite the fact that Germany has never lost to Ireland in a competitive fixture, the coach knows they could be in for a tough contest in Dublin.

"We know how dangerous the Irish are, not just from our home match," Löw said, referring to Germany's 1-1 draw with Ireland in Gelsenkirchen almost a year ago.

"Playing against the Irish in Dublin is never a foregone conclusion," he added. "But I have great confidence in my players, they know what it takes and I need players who are in a good rhythm."

A single point in Dublin or when Germany host Georgia in Leipzig on Sunday would clinch their participation in Euro 2016 in France next summer. At least four points would see them finish atop Group D.

pfd/apc (dpa/SID)

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