Germany will compensate for Ballack absence, says Loew
Germany coach Joachim Loew is confident his side will compensate for the loss of injured captain Michael Ballack for the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign. ( dpa )
Germany play Liechtenstein in Vaduz on Saturday followed by Finland in Helsinki on Wednesday but Loew has decided not to call up a replacement in midfield for Ballack.
"We have played some very good games with and without him in the European Championship qualifying. It shows that the team is not dependent upon Michael Ballack," Loew said Wednesday at the team's training camp at Oberhaching near Munich.
Loew will also be without the experienced Torsten Frings in midfield after the Werder Bremen player broke his nose at the weekend playing basketball in a public relations event.
Loew is set to keep Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich) , Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart) and Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen) in midfield after the three performed creditably in a friendly victory over Belgium last month. Hamburg's Piotr Trochowski was also a starter in the 2-0 win in Nuremberg on August 20.
"The players we have in midfield should be enough for both matches," he said.
Schweinsteiger said it was important to get off to a good start in Group 4 and he was confident of winning both matches.
"We have high quality and hungry players, which is what you need," he said.
Ballack meanwhile will be treated for the injury to his left foot by German team doctors before returning to Chelsea on Friday. He expects to be sidelined for another week.
"It is inflammed but is nothing serious. It's a small thing which now has to heal," he said.