Germany ready to peak at Qatar World Cup: Gundogan

Germany will look to extend its winning run under coach Hansi Flick when it faces Israel and Netherlands in the coming days but the team's priority is to peak at the year-ending World Cup in Qatar, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said on Friday.

Germany hosts Israel in Sinsheim on Saturday before travelling to Amsterdam on Tuesday to face Netherlands in another friendly. (File Photo)   -  REUTERS

Germany will look to extend its winning run under coach Hansi Flick when it faces Israel and Netherlands in the coming days but the team's priority is to peak at the year-ending World Cup in Qatar, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said on Friday.

The Germans, four-time winners who suffered a shock first round exit at the 2018 World Cup, have won all seven of their matches under Flick, having also qualified for the World Cup at the end of the year.

"The excitement for this year is great," Gundogan told a news conference. "It is a good start against a motivated and young Israeli team and then the test and the Dutch."

Germany hosts Israel in Sinsheim on Saturday before travelling to Amsterdam on Tuesday to face Netherlands in another friendly.

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"We want to start the year as successfully as possible. There is a lot at stake with the year ending with the World Cup in November and December," Gundogan said.

"In the past year under Flick we got the chance to add more momentum to the team. We used the time pretty well. We are on a good path and we want to continue that. The team should peak at the tournament and that is our priority."

Flick succeeded Joachim Loew after last year's European championship last-16 exit to England, and has brought in a number of young players as he looks to shape a team that can again compete at the top level.

Among them is Freiburg defender Nico Schlotterbeck who will earn his first cap on Saturday, Flick said.

"For us what is important is to have players who have the mental development to deliver performances at key matches," Flick said.

"We will see who can do that and who has qualities that are important for the team." "Everyone still has eight months to deliver performances that prove they want to play in this team."

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