Germany v Slovakia: Weiss confident of repeat Augsburg success


Vladimir Weiss is confident Slovakia can repeat their recent 3-1 friendly defeat of Germany when they meet again in the knockout stages of Euro 2016 on Sunday.

Slovakia beat the world champions in rain-sodden Augsburg on May 29 with both teams using the match as preparation for the European Championship in France.

They will face off again in Lille with a place in the quarter-finals at stake and Weiss was in bullish mood when asked to assess his team's chances.

He told "Germany have great quality and this will be a very demanding match, but we played them a few weeks back and won on their home ground. This gives us a lot of confidence for this match.

"Of course it will be a different match, but I think that at the level the competition has now reached, the standard is quite even and I think every team is capable of beating every other team.

"We very much believe in ourselves, and as I said, the team spirit is great, we will bring everything we have to this match."

Weiss is expecting a stiff challenge but believes Slovakia's togetherness gives them a real chance to cause an upset.

"Germany are great in possession, tactics, play beautiful football and we will all have to be 100 per cent ready to at least go toe-to-toe with them," he added.

"The core of our team has been together for some years now and I think we are playing together better. This is our great advantage at the moment."

Slovakia's chances may be boosted by the absence of Germany centre-half Jerome Boateng, who has played a major part in Die Mannschaft being one of just two sides to have advanced from the group stage without conceding a goal.

The Bayern Munich defender has a calf problem and did not take part in team training on Friday.

Team press officer Jens Grittner said: "Today, he went cycling and ran a little, so the doctors say he is on schedule. But that does not mean he will definitely play on Sunday."

It could mean a defensive reshuffle for Germany boss Joachim Low, although he is unlikely to displace Joshua Kimmich from the right-back slot he filled so impressively against Northern Ireland.

That display against Michael O'Neill's men has led to comparisons being drawn with Bayern team-mate, and former Germany captain, Philipp Lahm but Kimmich laughed them off as premature.

He said: "I have played one game in the national team as a right-back.  Philipp is the best full-back in the world. Obviously I am glad to hear such comparisons, but they don't make much sense."