World Cup qualifying: Germany v Kazakhstan
By Football News
Heavy favourites Germany can tighten their grip on World Cup qualifying Group C when they host Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
Joachim Loew's charges sit five points clear of second-placed Sweden, while Kazakhstan are second bottom with just one point from five matches, ahead of only the Faroe Islands.
The previous meeting between the teams was won comfortably by Germany on Friday, with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze and Thomas Mueller sealing a 3-0 win in Astana.
And a lot will have to change if the Kazakhs are going to reverse that loss when they take to the pitch at the Frankenstadion, Nuremburg, having never scored against Germany in three previous matches, while the European powerhouse have helped themselves to a total of 10 goals across those games.
They can rest easy that Schweinsteiger will not be scoring the first goal on Tuesday though, with the Bayern Munich man unavailable, as is Julian Draxler.
Schweinsteiger will miss through suspension, while Schalke midfielder Draxler was ruled out due to a concussion sustained early in Tuesday's game.
Their absence paved the way for midfielders Patrick Herrmann and Marcell Jansen to earn call-ups to the squad, with Hermann uncapped, while Sven Bender also re-joined the squad after the flu sidelined him from their first encounter.
In doubt to take their places in the starting 11 are forward Mario Gomez and defender Benedikt Hoewedes (both thigh), who undertook individual training sessions on Sunday.
Kazakhstan have scored just one goal in five 2014 World Cup qualifying matches - and that solitary strike almost gave them a win in their first match of the campaign against Ireland in September.
But they conceded twice in the last two minutes to lose that tie, and have since been toothless in front of goal, failing to score against Germany, Sweden and Austria, the latter home and away.
And it is unlikely that trend will change on German soil, as Loew's men seek another win to strengthen their chances of automatically qualifying for Brazil 2014.