Low: Klose still key for Germany

DORTMUND - Germany coach Joachim Low had a dig at Bayern Munich on Tuesday by saying their striker Miroslav Klose was a key asset for the national team despite being second choice with the Bundesliga champions.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's friendly match against Italy in Dortmund, Low said the 32-year-old forward was in outstanding form and would play from the start.

Klose, who has scored 58 goals in 105 international appearances, has netted only one league goal in nine games this season, falling down Bayern coach Louis van Gaal's pecking order.

"I always know exactly that when it matters then Miroslav delivers," Low told reporters. "He has not played for quite some time but I saw him in training yesterday and I spoke to him and he is in outstanding form. He feels physically fit and that is important."

"I have the feeling that Miro, despite a lack of match practice, is in good form," said Low. "I have always said that I think that such alternatives (as Klose) are useful for Bayern," he said.

Klose will be without fellow Bayern forward Mario Gomez, the league's top scorer, after he pulled out with sprained ligaments on Monday.

Low said Klose's start was not due to the absence of Gomez, who has scored 16 times in the league this season.

"How we would have solved the situation if Gomez was here is rather hypothetical," Low said.

"Maybe I would have chosen to see both Mario, who has been outstanding in the past few months, and Miro."