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Loew wary of ´wounded fighter´ Wales

31 March 2009 19:55

CARDIFF (AFP) - Germany coach Joachim Loew has compared Wales to a "wounded fighter who wants to retaliate" in the build-up to Wednesday's World Cup qualifier here at the Millennium Stadium.

Europe zone group four leaders Germany have dropped just one point in their bid to qualify for next year's World Cup in South Africa and will be hot favourites to take a step closer when they face a Wales side still reeling from the disappointment of last weekend's 2-0 loss at home to Finland.

But even though Wales's hopes of even a play-off spot are now hanging by a thread Loew, who said that if Germany "cannot win here, we will not be worth a place in the finals," expects the hosts to be fired-up.

"To me they are like a boxer who has been knocked down," Loew told reporters here Tuesday. "A wounded fighter who now wants to retaliate.

"They will be highly motivated because of the defeat by Finland, and because they are now playing Germany there will be 20 percent more effort.

"Wales still have a chance, if not a strong one. But they must be very disappointed about what happened against Finland.

He added: "In the past Germany have never won by wide margins against Wales, and in our last two meetings Wales have done really well.

"They drew 0-0 and only lost the next game 1-0 with a late goal.

"Wales were brilliant in defence in both their last games against us, throwing their bodies in front of everything.

"They can cope with disappointment, and they will be desperate to hit back. So all that makes them more dangerous."

However, Loew was not downplaying Germany's status as overwhelming favourites to win the match.

"We know that we have to win matches like this to prove we should go to the finals in South Africa.

"If we cannot win here, we will not be worth a place in the finals.

"But no matter what the rankings say, we will always respect teams and know they can beat us.

"Our players know this will be a British-style game with plenty of tackling and we will need to be physical and disciplined."

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