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Jun 26, 2014

Germany want revenge for U.S. defeat

The ESPN FC crew debate which teams will advance out of Group G.

Germany will be out to banish the memory of last year's friendly defeat to the U.S. when the sides meet in an eagerly-awaited reunion of Jurgen Klinsmann and his former Germany assistant boss Joachim Low.

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Klinsmann's U.S. team beat a weakened Germany XI 4-3 in a summer friendly, and striker Miroslav Klose -- the World Cup's joint-record scorer after his strike against Ghana -- said the result would motivate Low's players in their crucial World Cup clash on Thursday.

Only six of the 17 players who represented Germany in that friendly defeat are in the World Cup squad, but Klose said the result had not been forgotten -- and nor had the fact that they were facing Klinsmann, who guided a rejuvenated Germany to the semi-finals in 2006.

"He [Klinsmann] will want to own us, and we also want to own him," Klose told kicker. "We need to correct the 4-3 from last year.

"The U.S. team's 2-2 draw with Portugal wasn't too bad for us. But we want to beat the Americans. It will not be easy. We need to have good possession of the ball."

Speaking at a pre-match news conference on Wednesday, Germany head coach Low revealed little about his starting XI and said mental toughness would play a decisive part in the game, in which a draw would see both sides progress.

Stressing that playing for a draw "usually turns out to be a bad idea," Low said: "All the players are fit. We've got a few options. The starting formation will not be crucial, but the attitude will.

"Both teams want to win the match and will approach it professionally. There will be no backroom deal, and it will stay like that -- 100 percent."

Elsewhere, the German media looked forward to the battle between Low and Klinsmann.

Tabloid Bild goaded the former striker with a mocked-up front page picture of him sporting a black eye and the headline: "Klinsi, today you will see stars."

But other papers were more restrained in their approach. "Winners," broadsheet Die Welt Kompakt headlined, with a picture of the pair smiling. Berlin-based Tagesspiegel headlined "Enemies for one day."

"The showdown is a thing for the media," it quoted Low as saying. "But we have a mutual trust, and complemented each other for two years [in their Germany roles]. Our friendship will not be damaged, whatever the result is."

Meanwhile, Klinsmann tweeted a mocked-up note in which he gave U.S. supporters permission to tell their bosses that they were taking the day off work to cheer on the team.

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