Tim Brown:

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Kazakhstan - Germany



Dmitrenko, Mukhtarov, Korobkin, Kirov
Nuserbaev, Bogdanov, Nurd'tov, Khairullin
Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng, Schmelzer
Khedira, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Ozil, Reus

Germany will be without the services of two of its regular defenders for the trip to Astana, with both Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber injured, leaving Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng to line up together at center back.

Both Bender twins have dropped out of the squad due to injury, but Sami Khedira is fit to line up alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger. Finally, Mario Gomez will start up front, but Mario Gotze could get a run out in a false No. 9 role.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan will be without the services of Marat Shakhmetov and Azat Nurgaliev from the side that faced Austria back in Ocober.

Marat Khairullin should replace the latter on the left-hand side of midfield, with either Pavel Shabalin or Tanat Nuserbaev filling in for the former on the right.

  • Kazakhstan has won just two World Cup qualifying games since making the switch from the Asian Football Confederation to UEFA.

  • The Central Asian nation also faced the Nationalelf in Euro 2012 qualifying, losing 3-0 at home and 4-0 away.

  • Midfielder Heinrich Schmidtgal was born in the Soviet Union, but moved to Germany when he was 2 years old, later electing to represent Kazakhstan.
  • Germany has lost just two World Cup qualifiers in its history, the last one coming against England in September 2001.
  • Lukas Podolski has scored just two international goals since his last trip to Astana in October 2010. Another two strikes would see him leapfrog Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in Germany's list of all-time top scorers.
  • A total of 140 places separate the Nationalelf and Kazakhstan in the FIFA rankings.

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