Joachim Löw, the Germany coach, yesterday rejected the idea that Germany will not be trying to beat Wales tonight.
A theory had been aired that Germany do not want to finish top of Group D and would rather be in the second set of seeds with the chance of playing Switzerland, Austria or the holders, Greece, but Löw said: "It is not in our mentality to do anything but play for a win. We do not go out to draw or be defeated, that is not in our nature."
His Wales counterpart, John Toshack, remained undaunted, despite the slew of injuries, suspensions, retirements and withdrawals he has had to cope with, leaving him with what he concedes is the "most inexperienced side in our country's history".
Toshack may include seven players under 21, with four teenagers – Chris Gunter, Lewin Nyatanga, Neil Eardley and David Cotterill – all in contention. Some observers have been consulting the record books, and the manager knows that Germany's record win came 14 months ago, when they won 13-0 in San Marino. "I've been told about that, it was two tries and a drop goal I believe," Toshack said.Reuse content