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International friendly preview: Switzerland vs Germany

24 Mei 2012

Germany begin their quest for a first international title since 1996 when they travel for an international friendly with Switzerland on Saturday.

Joachim Loew's young players were very impressive at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before being knocked out by eventual champions Spain in the semi-finals.

The majority of that 2010 squad is still involved and Loew will be preparing them to go a couple of steps further at this year's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

But Loew will first have to give his Bayern Munich contingent a boost.

There are eight Bayern players in Loew's provisional 27-man squad and seven of them played in last weekend's Champions League final loss to Chelsea.

Germany's coaching staff know that kind of disappointment will have an impact on the Bayern players.

"We have no magic potion that will rebuild everyone at once," Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said on Monday.

"There is a process and we have to give the players a few days.

Switzerland host Germany at St Jakob-Park on Saturday.

"We will build the boys up again, the change of air will do them good, with us they can still win the title."

Germany have three international friendlies scheduled before Euro 2012 begins.

Switzerland are the Germans' first opponent and they have their own international tournament to prepare for.

The Swiss have qualified for the Olympics after finishing second at the 2011 Under 21 European Championships last year and five of the players involved in that tournament, plus another three that could be involved in London, have been picked to play against Germany.

The star of Switzerland's next generation is playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, who will join Bayern Munich from Basel at the start of next season.

Shaqiri is a strong attacker who generally plays on the right, which allows him to cut in and shoot with his powerful left foot.

In 2008, in the last match between these two teams, Germany thrashed Switzerland 4-0 with Mario Gomez scoring twice.

Gomez, who was poor against Chelsea on Saturday, will be keen to get back on the pitch and show that he is still in form.
The 26-year-old scored 41 goals in 52 matches for Bayern Munich this season.
Switzerland will host Germany at St Jakob-Park in Basel.

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