Full-strength Germany eyeing first Nations League win in Ukraine

KYIV (Reuters) - Germany will be finally at full strength as they look to bag their first victory in the Nations League against hosts Ukraine on Saturday, coach Joachim Loew said on Friday.

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Loew, whose team took the lead three times but stumbled to a 3-3 draw against Turkey in a friendly on Wednesday, will have a full squad to chose from with several Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig players back as well as striker Timo Werner and experienced playmaker Toni Kroos.

The Germans, fielding several makeshift teams due to the extended season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, drew their last three matches since September, having taken the lead in all of them.

“The biggest and most important task is to win against Ukraine,” Loew told a news conference. “In the last few games we found resistance. We now must try to overcome that.”

“Of course there have been a few games where we gave up control. We need to maintain control of the game, find solutions.”

Ukraine had an even worse dress rehearsal for the game, suffering a 7-1 defeat to France in Paris. They had also lost 4-0 to Spain in September in the Nations League.

“Everyone of my players is fit and we are all very motivated,” Loew said.

“But we are not blinded by the result of Ukraine in France. Many of their players who will play against us were rested in that game,” Loew said.

“I also saw how they played against Switzerland (for a 2-1 win in September). Ukraine have very good quality and have developed under coach Andriy Shevchenko.”

The Germans are on two points in the group from two games, with Spain in top spot on four and Ukraine in second a point behind.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis