Podolski not afraid of losing Germany place

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski says he does not fear for his place in the Germany squad for the World Cup having returned to national duty for Wednesday's friendly against Chile.

Delighted with his goal...

Germany coach Joachim Low on Monday said he was going to have to hurt somebody by leaving them out of his squad, insisting he is not satisfied with the current form and condition of his players with 100 days to go before the World Cup gets underway.

In spite of his 111 caps, Podolski is one of those players with a question mark still over their place in the squad, but he is optimistic he will be heading to Brazil in June.

"I never have and never will have fear," he said at a press conference in Stuttgart.

"I think I've been through a lot and played many international games and tournaments to have the self-confidence to say I will be there.

"After my long injury, I'm back in form and I've spoken with my club and national team coaches and I'm happy with the way I'm playing.

"I will keep my foot down in training, but I have no fear."

Low's warning came on the eve of Germany's final fixture before he has to name his squad for the World Cup.

Germany host Chile in Stuttgart on Wednesday night and they will not meet up again until May, which is why Podolski says Low was right to sound a warning.

"We've got the World Cup on the horizon and I think it would be wrong just to say everything's fine and dandy," Podolski said.

"It would be negligent if we all go home after this game thinking we're all fine and set. We all want to be involved and will do all we can to go into the World Cup in fine fettle."

While Podolski may not be certain of his place against Chile, captain Philipp Lahm already knows he will be starting in the midfield, a position which is no longer unusual to him.

"Most of the games I've played this season have been there so at the moment, I guess you could say I'm more a midfielder than a full-back," he said.

One of his duties will be to stop Juventus' prolific midfielder Arturo Vidal.

"Chile are tough opponents," warned Lahm. "They've got some good results against good opponents.

"They're aggressive and really press high up the field. They've got good individual talent who play in top European leagues so it will be a really good test for us tomorrow."

Vidal knows German football having played in the Bundesliga for four years with Bayer Leverkusen before moving to Serie A.

"I know most of them well and played against most of them," said the 26-year-old.

"Germany are favourites and one of the strongest teams in the world, but they're up against a young and very hungry team.

"We could cause a big upset."



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