BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany have called up forward Sidney Sam to add more punch to their attack against Scotland on Sunday after a string of absences and lack of firepower contributed to a 4-2 defeat by Argentina on Wednesday.
With the World Cup winners looking far from their polished best and missing several key players, coach Joachim Loew wants more goal threat for his team’s first Euro 2016 qualifier in Dortmund.
Lightning-quick Schalke 04 forward Sam will increase Loew’s options after Mario Gomez, back from a long injury absence that caused him to miss the World Cup, squandered three clear chances against Argentina and was jeered by his own fans.
With record goal scorer Miroslav Klose having retired from international football, Gomez was Germany’s only out-and-out striker.
“You could see that a large number of our players only had a short preparation this season,” Loew told reporters after the friendly loss in Duesseldorf to Germany’s World Cup final opponents.
”We only had two days together as a team and on top of that we were missing a lot of players who cannot be replaced that easily.
“Mario was out injured for seven months and has played only one competitive game this season so far. There is no way he could already be in top form.”
Loew will also be without Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels against Scotland, joining Bastian Schweinsteiger, among others, on the sidelines.
Julian Draxler has been ruled out with a muscle injury picked up against Argentina and defender Jerome Boateng is doubtful.
”I hope that at least Jerome can be at our disposal against Scotland,“ said the 54-year-old coach. ”But I am not worried at all.
“We need a bit of patience for the defence to find a good footing,” he said after Argentine Angel Di Maria charged down the wings, setting up three goals before scoring the fourth.
“On Sunday it will be a completely different game from our side,” Loew said.
Editing by Ed Osmond