Loew indicates slight changes

Tenero, June 11:

Forecasting Germany’s lineup for an upcoming match resembles the method used by the Kremlinologists during the Cold War — it’s mostly guesswork based on a few precious hints.

It’s no different before Thursday’s game in Klagenfurt between Germany and Croatia, which might decide who will win Group B at the European Championship.

“Not many changes will happen, but one or two players may be new, we’ll see,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “We have a deep team and some younger players are pushing vehemently in practice for a place in the starting lineup.” Loew would have little reason to change a winning team that beat Poland 2-0 in their opener. Croatia are also coming off a win, a meager 1-0 decision over Austria that earned the Croats little praise at home.

Germany captain Michael Ballack thought his team had reached about “80-85 per cent” of its potential in the game against Poland and saw no great need to change anything. “I don’t see that any changes are needed. But of course, it’s up to the coach — and it depends on the rival as well. Maybe we’ll change one or two positions,” he said.