Germany ready for Serbs to come out swinging

PORT ELIZABETH - With Serbia pinned against the ropes needing a win, German coach Joachim Low said on Thursday he expects the tiny nation to come out swinging in their Group D showdown.

Already a World Cup heavyweight, a young German squad has displayed a lethal knockout punch in South Africa, flooring Australia 4-0 in their opener but will wary of a Serbian team fighting for survival following a 1-0 loss to Ghana.

"We have to be ready for an intense fight," warned Low. "Serbia is like a boxer who has taken a first blow they will be poised to hit back.

"They basically have to win the next match so they will be poised to attack. Since they lost their first match they are even more dangerous in the second match so we have respect for the Serbs."

As fights go, Friday's contest would appear a mismatch, with the three-times champions taking on a Serbia side stepping into the World Cup ring for the first time.

But what the Serbs lack in experience, they more than make up for with raw skill and a battling spirit that Low says cannot be underestimated.

"If you know the Serbia culture they are very strong fighters, they are perfectly able to deliver on their promises," cautioned Low.

"They will be strong technically; they will have a strong fighting spirit and they will go the extra-mile until the very last minute.

"They have many strong individual players. If you take a look at the clubs these players play for, these are top clubs in Europe and you can see at first glance how dangerous this team is."

After days of being whipped by icy winds and pounded by rain, the warmth returned to the "Friendly City" as Port Elizabeth rolled out a sunny welcome mat.

The two teams had been dreading a trip to the wintery Eastern Cape where Mother Nature - not the World Cup - has been the main topic of conversation with the snow covered mountains just outside the city getting nearly as much attention from locals as the action on the pitch.

Serbia arrived to brilliant sunshine but the damage had already been done with the squad forced to move their training from the waterlogged pitch at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium to a nearby university.

Germany also flew in on Thursday but delayed their arrival until later in the evening preferring to get in one last practice at their training base near Pretoria.

"We didn't have a chance to practice because the last training was cancelled," said Low. "But irrespective of pitch condition we have to be ready for a fight."

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