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Flu bug hits German team

2010-07-09 20:58

Port Elizabeth - German coach Joachim Loew missed his team's training on Friday due to a flu bug which also hit captain Philipp Lahm and forward Lukas Podolski.

But the coach will definitely be on the bench for Saturday evening's match for third place against Uruguay in Port Elizabeth, assistant coach Hansi Flick told a news conference.

In addition to Loew, Lahm was also absent from training, though Podolski did take part.

Flick declined to say who would be in Germany's line-up for the match, unlike Uruguay's coach Oscar Tabarez who a few hours earlier named his squad for the consolation game.

Forward Miroslav Klose has back problems and took part only in running drills for about 20 minutes "to remain in movement a bit" according to team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Flick said it appeared Klose might be fit in time, "but we can't say with 100 per cent certainty."

Back-up keeper Tim Wiese missed training on Thursday and Friday due to inflammation in his knee and it remains questionable if he can stand between the posts against Uruguay - a common practice in the third place game as the number two keepers usually play in the game.

Bierhoff said the coaching staff has no problem calling on reserve players.

"We want to win the game. And we have full trust in the players who haven't played much during the tournament. And this would be a thank you to them for giving their all every day in training," said the manager.

Bierhoff said despite personnel questions, the team is very focused on beating Uruguay for third place.

"It's important to finish a tournament with a victory. Plus there is a medal for third place. That would be a good memory, and we wouldn't just say we lost in the semi-finals," he said.

But the game will be anything but easy.

"Uruguay did not reach the semi-finals for nothing. And they will want to finish the tournament with a victory as well," said German midfielder Thomas Mueller.

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