World Champion Sami Khedira will miss tonight’s International with England in Dortmund. The 29-year-old Juventus travelled from Italy with an ankle injury and is going to remain sidelined as a “precaution” according to assistant coach Marcus Sorg, who also spoke to DFB about the quality of the opposition and the performances of Lukas Podolski in a Germany shirt.
DFB: Marcus Sorg, another international will miss tonight’s game against England.
Marcus Sorg: It’s true that Khedira will also be unavailable and will not play against England. Sami arrived carrying a ankle injury and it was decided today he will not be involved against England - but more as a precautionary measure.
DFB: Sami joins Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler, Mario Gomez and Mesut Özil in missing uot. None of them are seriously injured but none will feature against England. Who is available?
Sorg: First and foremost it is always a shame when a player has to miss out. But on the other hand we have a chance to give others a new experience to see what they can do. We are yet to see who will play in Mesut’s position. But tonight we have someone who we are saying goodbye to, and we are all looking forward to that.
DFB: Everyone will be playing for Lukas Podolski tonight. You have overseen his final year in the National team. Have you got a particular “Poldi-moment” that you remember well?
Sorg: He is a simply exceptional guy and player. His spirit, willingness to get involved and professionalism at last year’s Euros expressed me most. If there is a challenge to be faced he takes it on. He does not think about the next stages too much but just gets on with it. Lukas has one of the best left-footed shots in the game, is very reliable and what’s more a man who everyone loves to have around. As a result he is a credit to the National side.
DFB: What exactly do you mean by that?
Sorg: Yeah that says a lot. We are only usually together for short periods of time. Before the England game we have a training session to prepare. You have to be ready to understand each other and take on board a lot very quickly and that happens even quicker if you get on with people on a personal level.
DFB: How strong is this English team? No Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and potentially even Raheem Stirling.
Sorg: Strong enough that today’s game will be very interesting. England have a lot of younger players who are already battle hardened. I’m looking forward to the a great game in a wonderful stadium.
DFB: Gareth Southgate will take charge of the side for the first time since being promoted from interim manager in September.
Sorg:That will definitely be a factor. It is always a special atmosphere when a new coach takes over and looks to get his message and style across. He has also ready said he wants to do something different. Under Southgate English teams will press very high up the pitch and look to shut out the opposition. They also look to break quickly after winning the ball back and there quick players will bring a lot of quality with them. We must be ready to deal with that from the beginning.
DFB: Finally, how often does Andreas Köpke tell you the story of how he saved Southgate’s penalty in the 1996 Euros semi-final?
Sorg: Often. Very often. But it is always nice to hear.