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Germany v Armenia: Preview

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Joachim Low has quashed fears about goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's fitness by declaring he will play in Germany's World Cup opener against Portugal.

Neuer was unable fully participate in Germany's recent 10-day training camp in South Tyrol due to a troublesome shoulder injury and will miss Friday's friendly against Armenia in Mainz.

Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller played in the friendly against Cameroon on Sunday and he will be take his place between the sticks at the Coface Arena.

Die Mannschaft boss Low insists, however, that Neuer will win his fitness battle to return to the side for their June 16 encounter against Portugal.

Low said: ``Manuel Neuer has come on a lot and we discussed last night that Manuel won't play tomorrow as we don't want to take any risks, even if it would be only minimal.

``But as he and (national team) doctor (Hans-Wilhelm) Muller-Wohlfahrt have said, there is no risk at all of him not being fit for the first game against Portugal.

``There won't be any problem. Manuel Neuer will be ready.''

Low is set to name a strong team which should see captain Philipp Lahm and vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger feature at some stage after shaking off knocks.

Meanwhile, Armenia coach Bernard Challandes insist his players will get better on the international stage if they play their club football abroad.

Speaking following his team's 3-1 defeat to Algeria last Friday, he told Russian sport newspaper Sport-Express: ``We have missed four goals in the last two matches after the corner kick. This is not normal taking into consideration the fact that we have players who play well with their head.

``This is not understandable for me. The defenders play in the championship of Armenia, here is the problem. If possible I will do my best to move them to other championships.''



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