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Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Germany v Austria

Germany could become the first team to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals if they beat neighbours Austria on Friday.

Joachim Loew’s side are unbeaten so far in group A, with seven wins from as many matches, and would seal their spot in next year’s competition with victory in Gelsenkirchen.

Mario Gomez will be missing for the tie though, after the striker injured his thigh scoring a hat-trick for Bayern Munich in their 3-0 win over Kaiserslautern on Saturday.

Barring a shock, Germany should have little trouble in booking their place for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

The three-time European champions are 10 points clear of second-placed Belgium, and only Turkey, who have a game in hand over the top two sides, could overtake them in the standings.

Loew’s men will be hoping to avoid a repeat of their qualifying campaign for Euro 2008 when they won just one of their last four matches and were forced into the play-offs.

Austria, meanwhile, must beat Germany if they are to have any hope of reaching the finals.

But history is not in their favour, with Germany having won the last eight encounters between the two sides, including a 2-1 victory in their last qualifying game in Vienna on June 3.

Wed 31 Aug, 2011
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