Low downbeat over Cacau

02 July 2010 06:33

Joachim Low has virtually ruled Cacau out of Saturday's World Cup quarter-final with Argentina in Cape Town.

The forward missed last weekend's defeat of England with an abdominal strain and has not trained since. Low admitted: "We have to be realistic. I don't think he will be able to play."

Argentina, meanwhile, expect to have star man Lionel Messi available despite the Barcelona frontman missing training on Thursday due to a cold.

Another attacker that missed training two days before the clash was Lukas Podolski, who was struggling with a muscle strain.

"He has had physio in our hotel," confirmed Low on Thursday. "If he fails his fitness test, we will have to come up with another solution."

Happily, Low had better news of young playmaker Mesut Ozil, who also missed training on Thursday but only so he could have a rest after a tiring campaign.

"Last year, Ozil played in the European Under-21 championships so he has had a long season," said Low. "He lost energy in the weeks leading up to the tournament and then worked very hard against England, so I gave him a day off to recharge his batteries."

Argentina coach Diego Maradona must decide whether to play Maxi Rodriguez and Juan Sebastian Veron in midfield and even though Walter Samuel has recovered from a thigh injury, he is not expected to disturb the centre-half pairing of Martin Demichelis and Nicolas Burdisso.

Demichelis has thanked Diego Maradona for getting him through his form crisis after the Bayern Munich man was criticised for his crass blunder against South Korea in the group stage.

"Maradona has given me so much support," Demichelis said. "I didn't see him much as a player, only through watching matches on TV. But as a coach he has grown a lot. The words he uses are very convincing and makes us feel very positive about ourselves."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G
Country W D L GD Pts
BEL 0 1 0 0 1
PAN 0 1 0 0 1
TUN 0 0 0 0 0
ENG 0 0 0 0 0