Ukraine Update...

Time for some latest news on the team for the friendly against the Ukraine in Kyiv this coming Friday, and the bad news that noth Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus are both out of the running. While I didn’t actually have Klose to to start in this game, his pulling out with a knee injury is not a good sign – unless, of course, it is a ploy to make the Dutch think a little ahead of next Tuesday’s biggest fixture in Hamburg.

There had been talk in the German press of Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw playing both Klose and Mario Gómez as part of a 4-4-2 line-up, but hopefully the latest turn of events have brought an end to that discussion. So no more 4-4-2 experiments please, Jogi: let’s leave that for Fabio Capello to muck around with.

The absence of Reus however is a real disappointment, in that he has never really got much of a break since being called up for the Nationalmannschaft. This time it’s a case of gastroenteritis, and while there’s hope that he might be fit for next week the chances of him making the starting lineup are remote. The Ukraine match was his big chance to make the starting eleven, and it looks as though it is going to be a little while longer for that.

Other reports have suggested that Ron-Robert Zieler will make his debut between the posts on Friday, with Tim Wiese on the bench. I had initially expected the Hannover 96 stopper to get a sub appearance at best, so all I can say is good luck to the guy as he joins Jogi’s Jungs.

Given the resting of Philipp Lahm and the absence of Klose, I am expecting Lukas Podolski to be given the captain’s armband in Kyiv.

In terms of current form Germany are unbeaten in eight games – their last defeat coming earlier in the year in Mönchengladbach against Australia – while the Ukrainians have won their last two matches – against Bulgaria and Estonia – after losing their previous four encounters against France, Sweden, Uruguay and the Czech Republic.

I will no doubt be back with more team news before the game – watch this space.

Ukraine Update…
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