World Cup 2018 Qualifying Campaign Index


Sunday, 8 October 2017

World Cup 2018 Group C Qualifier

" Ten wins from ten games prove that the team constantly kept up the desire and concentration"

Germany - Leon Goretzka 8', 66', S. Wagner 54', Antonio Rüdiger 64', Emre Can 81'
Azerbaijan - Ramil Seydayev 34'

P10 W10 D0 L0 GF43 GA4

Germany become only the second country to end a European World Cup qualifying campaign with maximum points, and set a new record for overall goals tally in all UEFA qualifers.

"First of all, I'd like to say a big well done to all the players who featured in our qualifying campaign. Ten wins from ten games prove that the team constantly kept up the desire and concentration. That cannot be taken for granted."

Germany seal perfect World Cup qualifying campaign with thumping win over Azerbaijan
Germany Crush Azerbaijan 5-1 to Qualify for World Cup with Perfect Record
Löw's side end World Cup qualifying in style

It was difficult to start with. We haven't played with this team before, and that was apparent. We were playing backwards to start with as well and made things difficult for ourselves. The second half was better, the opposition started to tire then as well. You'd be mistaken in seeing this qualifying campaign as a benchmark. Sure, it was good, it was a top performance. But the opponents at the World Cup finals will be of a completely different calibre. So we shouldn't get carried away, there's still a lot of work to do. I want to achieve something big this summer. It will be difficult enough winning back-to-back World Cup.

Germany make it ten from ten with five goal show against Azerbaijan
Record-breaking Germany brush aside Azerbaijan after Leon Goretzka backheel
Emre Can caps huge victory with sublime effort as Die Mannschaft turn on the class

On the match itself, Jogi said "It was a tough start. We haven't played with this set-up before, and that was noticeable to begin with. There were a lot of technical mistakes made as well. We had a lot of young players on the pitch who need a bit more time. The second half was good. We started playing the way we needed to, and the goals came thick and fast."

Prolific Germany set World Cup qualifying record

Germany boss Joachim Low delivers Arsenal bad news on Shkodran Mustafi injury

Löw has warned that Mustafi will likely be taking a 'longer break' after appearing to tear a thigh muscle.
"With Mustafi it seems that it is muscle tear or some muscle fibre tear," he said after the match.
But news was better for Niklas Süle "Süle has some muscle problems; the substitution was a precaution."

Löw: "We can't rule any players out yet" - from

"We'll have to look at the situation in November. Tournament preparations begin in May. I will be trying out the odd thing, but we've got a strong foundation to build on."
"The door is open. It's still several months away. We will be watching individual performances very closely. There is no reason to write any players off yet."
Jung, jünger, Jogi - an article in appreciation of Jogi and how things have changed since the last World Cup.

Post-match press conference and Post-match interview on RTL

Starting Line-Up:
Bernd Leno, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle (Antonio Rüdiger), Shkodran Mustafi (Matthias Ginter), Emre Can, Leon Goretzka, Julian Brandt, Thomas Müller (Amin Younes), Leroy Sané, Lars Stindl, Sandro Wagner

Pre-match show from RTL - with interview with Jogi

Training, Opel Arena, Mainz, 7 October 2017

Press Conference, Mainz, 7 October 2017, with Reinhard Grindel and Leon Goretzka

The press conference began with a presentation by DFB President Reinhard Grindel at which he congratulated the team on their World Cup qualifiation and the chosen logo for Germany's Euro 2024 bid was unveiled. "A European Championship in your own country would be awesome. We had a great tournament in 2006 that energised everyone." Jogi added.

Now turning to his own session, Jogi said that there will be one or two changes against Azerbaijan. "We've had a chat with the goalkeepers and Bernd Leno will start tomorrow. Emre Can will also start in defensive midfield, and I'm planning on giving Leroy Sané a chance up top as well. I gave the team some time off yesterday to unwind a little. Even though we won't be quite as in tune as in previous matches, we'll still be looking to put Azerbaijan under pressure early on."

Germany boss Löw set to experiment with options due to lengthy Neuer absence

He called Manuel Neuer the best goalkeeper in the world adding "We'll have to see how it [Neuer's injury] develops. I hope that he can return to training as soon as possible, so then he can be back at his best in two or three months. He is very important for us. However, Marc-André ter Stegen has proven to be a solid alternative; he's very composed and gets the job done. If you were going to put a goalkeeper after Manuel Neuer, it has to be ter Stegen. He has our full backing, as do Bernd Leno and Kevin Trapp."

On the qualifying campaign: "We can be thoroughly satisfied. I thought the way the team went about their task right from the off, undoing Northern Ireland's game plan straightaway, was very impressive. Nevertheless, qualifying isn't over yet and we want to win our tenth game as well against Azerbaijan - that has to be the goal tomorrow."

He is absolutely satisfied with the qualification campaign and is delighted with the way the team went about their job in Northern Ireland and want to do everything they can to win the final game against Azerbaijan.

Joachim Löw names France as World Cup rivals and will give fringe players a chance

"It will be the hardest tournament. Everyone else can only win. That is an initial situation that is not very easy. That means, to repeat [as World Cup winners], we need have success as a team, with every individual player," Löw said.
"In 2014, we won the World Cup without a big superstar. We won with a team performance where everyone brought something to the team and gave everything for the team. That's what we have to do next year."
He does not believe that they are the undisputed best nation in the world and that others, such as France, have great talents. They must reinvent themselves as World Champion. "Our team has been one of the world's best for many years now - this level of consistency is once in a lifetime. No matter who we play, we're capable of winning comfortably, and that shows you just how much quality this team has. Marco Reus got injured in the final game before the tournament in 2014, and Sami Khedira had spent six months out before it. It threw us a little and we had to use the build-up to work things out. As things currently stand, we're top of the world rankings because of what we've done in recent years. That doesn't play any role next year though. It's important to have a good preparation period, to have top players in form and for everyone to go into the tournament with the right mindset, ready to go above and beyond."

He also spoke of the plans in the coming weeks "We've been thinking about Russia for some time. We'll have to wait and see what the draw brings. After that, we'll begin looking for friendly opponents. We won the tournament in Brazil by working as a team, and that's what we'll need to do again. We need to be just as hungry if we're going to win. Only we as defending champions have something to lose, which doesn't exactly make things any easier."

Löw: "Our level of consistency is once in a lifetime" - summary on

Der Tag vor dem Spiel gegen Aserbaidschan

The delivery of a new team coach (don't worry, it's only the wheeled variety...)

Zurück nach Frankfurt und der neue Bus

Regenerationstraining nach dem Sieg in Belfast - 6 October 2017

Kroos out of Azerbaijan qualifier - 6 October 2017
World Champion Toni Kroos is set to miss this Sunday's final World Cup Qualifying Group game against Azerbaijan with a rib inury.
The midfielder left the team hotel in Belfast on Friday morning and will now let the injury, which has also caused him to sit out games for his club Real Madrid recently, fully heal.

"We know what Toni can give us," said Joachim Löw. "When it comes down to it we can always rely on him. The deciding factor was that he is completely fit for next year and able to get through this season and build up his strength," added the Germany Head Coach.
Germany will train once more in Belfast this afternoon (Friday) before flying to Mainz later in the evening.

After the Northern Ireland game, Joachim Löw was asked about who would play in the match on Sunday: "There will be changes to give a chance to the players who haven't competed yet, but I'lll also have to see who's fit for the match." - 5 October 2017

Full details of the squad for the final two World Cup qualifiers can be found on my Northern Ireland page.

Last updated 11 October 2017
With thanks to everyone.
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