Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no real interest in the outcome of Saturday’s match between his homeland Germany and adopted nation England, but would be happy if either won Euro 2016.
The German says the only thing he wants from this weekend’s game in Berlin – which involves six Liverpool players – is no injuries.
“It is a friendly game so I don’t care. I hope all of them come back healthy,” he said. “In the European Championships I have this problem only if they play against each other.
“Germany are European champions but if England can get the title I’m happy, too. We have a lot of players at the tournament and it is easy to find a team you want to support.”
BERTRAND OUT FOR ENGLAND
Defender Ryan Bertrand will miss England’s friendly against Germany after returning to Southampton for treatment.
The full-back picked up an injury in his side’s Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool last weekend and the England medical team have determined he will not be fit to face the world champions.
The Football Association said in a statement that Roy Hodgson would not call up a replacement.
O’SHEA TARGETS KNOCK-OUT PHASE
John O’Shea will attempt to erase the memory of the Republic of Ireland’s disappointing Euro 2012 campaign by targeting qualification for the knock-out stage this time around.
Ireland failed to collect a single point from games against Croatia, Spain and Italy.
Martin O’Neill’s men have Sweden, Belgium and Italy awaiting them in France, but having beaten world champions Germany on the way to the finals.
“I’ve done my best to erase it from my memory, but people keep bringing it up,” he said ahead of Friday night’s friendly against Switzerland.
“Obviously we wanted to get out of the group and we didn’t, so that’s the main thing we’ll be looking to do this time around.”
TRIBUTE PLANNED FOR CRUYFF
The Netherlands friendly against France will stop after 14 minutes on Friday night for a minute-long silence in tribute to Johan Cruyff.
Dutch football will have an immediate chance to join together in tribute to Cruyff and the Dutch FA (KNVB) has confirmed the occasion at the Amsterdam Arena will be dedicated to the country’s greatest player.
Cruyff, who died of lung cancer aged 68, wore the No 14 shirt for Netherlands, and KNVB director Bert van Oostveen revealed the unusual plan to stop the match.
He said, according to De Telegraaf: “This match will be dominated by a grand tribute to Johan Cruyff.
“We will start with a minute of silence for the victims in Brussels and, in the 14th minute, we will bring the match to a silence in memory of the greatest footballer we have perhaps ever produced.”
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport