Scotland coach Gordon Strachan expects improved Germany

Scotland coach Strachan expects Germany to 'come alive'
Germany v Scotland, Euro 2016 Qualifying
Date: Sunday, 7 September. Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund. Kick-off: 19:45 BST.
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland.

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan expects Sunday's opponents Germany to be a different proposition from the

The Scots' European Championship qualifying campaign begins in Dortmund and Strachan believes he learned nothing from Wednesday's match.

"It will be a completely different team," predicted the Scotland boss.

"It's a competitive game and the Germans come alive when it becomes competitive."

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan
"When the Germans have to compete, they are a different animal. I can't remember the last time they didn't qualify for anything."

World champions Germany were 4-0 down after 50 minutes against Argentina in a re-match of this summer's final at Brazil 2014. Andre Schurrle and an own goal by Federico Fernandez reduced the Germans' deficit.

"We expected free-flowing football, people trying to make an impression in this game," Strachan said. "It was a celebration of football, a celebration of Germany's win [in the World Cup final in Brazil].

"I thought Argentina were terrific as well. It was a wonderful game to watch from a neutral's point of view but we didn't take anything from it.

"When the Germans have to compete, they are a different animal. I can't remember the last time they didn't qualify for anything."

The Scots will be without West Bromwich Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans, who has become the latest player to withdraw from the squad.

Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans
Dorrans has withdrawn from the squad to face Germany

"He has been playing with an injury the last couple of weeks," said Strachan.

"It was great he came up here, gave it a couple of days' rest and tried to train yesterday, but he wasn't comfortable, so he is away back to his club now to get assessed."

Defenders Christophe Berra and Andy Robertson pulled out on Wednesday, while Scott Brown and Robert Snodgrass are both out injured.

Strachan had already called up Aberdeen defender Mark Reynolds in anticipation of Berra pulling out with his knee injury, and he will not replace Dorrans or Robertson, who pulled out with a calf problem.

The Scotland boss has Steven Whittaker and Derby left-back Craig Forsyth vying for a place at left-back.

On his missing defenders, Strachan said: "That's a blow. Both of them have been doing well. Christophe has been scoring goals as well. But his injury was bad enough not to allow him to travel.

Scotland squad
Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, David Marshall, Allan McGregor
Defenders: Craig Forsyth, Gordon Greer, Grant Hanley, Alan Hutton, Russell Martin, Mark Reynolds, Steven Whittaker
Midfielders: Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Craig Bryson, Chris Burke, Darren Fletcher, Shaun Maloney, James McArthur, Kevin McDonald, Callum McGregor, James Morrison, Charlie Mulgrew
Forwards: Steven Fletcher, Chris Martin, Steven Naismith

"Andy came up and tried his best. We felt it wasn't worthwhile pushing it because he couldn't train.

"We are OK, we are happy with the training we have done. Everybody else has been involved.

"We picked a few extra players because we knew we might get some knocks, so we are well covered."

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will captain the visitors in the Group D match, with Strachan declaring it was "great to have his enthusiasm and experience" in the squad for the match against the world champions.

"You can tell the players enjoy him being here and, more so, he enjoys being here," said the manager.

"I can sense that the players are really looking forward to this game. There seems to be no fear. I like that.

"They know they have to work hard to get a result and that has been shown in the training this week."

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