Germany out to stamp authority on Faroese minnows
Germany will look to put their Euro 2012 disappointment behind them when they start their World Cup qualifying campaign against minnows the Faroe Islands in Hanover on Friday.
Joachim Loew's side had their dreams of winning the European Championship title dashed when they lost to Italy in the semi-final in Warsaw and, with the coach's contract due to expire after Brazil 2014, this could be his last chance for a major title.
Ranked 154th in the world according to FIFA's rankings -- Germany are second -- the Faroe Islands are bidding for a monumental upset while the Germans want a dominant start to take control of Group C.
Loew's side face Austria in Vienna next Tuesday in their second qualifier and, with Sweden and the Republic of Ireland to come next month, Loew wants to see proof of his side's hunger for success.
"Basically, I feel that the side still has a hunger for success after the disappointment of the European Championship," said Loew, whose team finished their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a perfect 10 wins.
"We are facing a new round of qualification matches. The last time we passed with flying colours, but I think it will be harder this time.
"Sweden, Ireland and Austria will demand something from us and clear victories are expected against the Faroe Islands or Kazakhstan.
"We want to win both our opening games to give us a good basis."
The Faroe Islands, an archipelago situated between Iceland and Norway, lost 2-0 to Iceland last month and have never qualified for either a World Cup or European Championships.
However, they only lost 1-0 to Italy at home last September and managed a 2-0 win over Estonia in June 2011 in a Euro 2012 qualifier.
The Faroes have lost both of their previous games to Germany, but a narrow 2-1 defeat in Hanover in 2002 and a 2-0 reverse in Torshavn in 2003 should give the guests some confidence.
Their top scorer and captain Frooi Benjaminsen is a 34-year-old veteran who made his debut back in 1999 while goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen has spent time with Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham.
Since taking charge in 2006, Loew has added an attacking prowess to the Germans' reputation for efficient defending and the 52-year-old will want a big win over the minnows.
Captain Philipp Lahm will revert back to the right side of defence, with Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer on the left, while there should be a start for Dortmund's attacking midfielder Marco Reus.
Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos missed training on Wednesday with a bruised hip and faces a race against time to be fit.
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