Low sticks to guns over six shooters

World Cup Countdown: 31 days to go

Germany coach Joachim Löw has told reporters he intends to take all six strikers from his preliminary 27-man squad to South Africa. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski both made the squad despite indifferent form this season, as well as Mario Gomez, Cacau, Stefan Kiessling and Thomas Mueller.

Löw admitted he wants to take all of them in order to keep his options open: "Our plan is to have all six strikers with us at the World Cup because we want to be flexible."

Gilberto Silva has defended his role in Brazil's World Cup set-up. "I'm not the type of player who dribbles, scores goals and does anything eye-catching," said the former Arsenal midfielder.

"My job goes unnoticed by a lot of people, but it doesn't worry me because I know that my work is in the team's interest."

It has been confirmed that Honduras striker Carlos Costly will miss the World Cup. The striker fractured a bone in his right foot playing for Romanian side Vaslui and has now been ruled out for six weeks.

The US forward Landon Donovan believes that making last year's Confederation Cup final has instilled a sense of belief in the team. "The biggest thing we learnt was that we can compete with and beat any team in the world if we play our best."

Highlights of the day

Metaphor of the day

Japan coach Takeshi Okada says Japan will make the semi-finals. When asked why he was so confident, he replied: "Japan are like a swarm of feasting flies, it is work rate and organisation that symbolises my team." The Flies' first game is against Cameroon's Indomitable Lions. After that? The great Danes.

Random call-up of the day

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert gave a strangely alphabet-based reason for naming West Brom's Chris Wood in his 23-man squad. "Chris was selected because he's a W." Any Kiwi player whose name starts with X must have a shout.

Outburst of the day

Australia coach Pim Verbeek's negative tactics have proved unpopular, but Mark Schwarzer came to his defence yesterday, saying the critics should "hire a bunch of circus entertainers rather than footballers". With Harry Kewell in the squad, some might argue that's already the case.

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