Low gets England inside info

Injured captain Ballack helps out Germany boss

Low: Ballack has inside info

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Germany coach Joachim Low has been using former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack to gather information on England.

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The two rivals square up in Bloemfontein on Sunday in the second round of the World Cup and Low has asked the former Blues man for the inside track on the Stamford Bridge contingent in Fabio Capello's squad.

Ballack is out of the World Cup due to injury but has still been able to help his national team thanks to his knowledge on the Premier League, which he amassed during four years with the Londoners.

And Low believes he is up-to date with the English game - mainly thanks to his stricken captain.

Inside view

The 50-year-old revealed: "I talked with Michael Ballack many times about the English family and the Premier League players.

"We especially talked about individuals, like Lampard, and he gave me an inside view.

"It is safe to say we have up-to date info. We know a great deal about Lampard and all his colleagues. We also watch English football on German TV."

Low refused to be sidetracked by the historical context of the encounter and instead focused on the task in hand.

And with a place in the quarter-finals at stake, the manager believes neither team would buckle under the pressure of the occasion.

He added: "You will not find fear in anyone's eyes in the Germany team or England. There is tension, healthy stage fright.

"We won't go hiding or putting heads in the sand. Both teams will act with courage and commitment. We will be able to hold our own. I rate my team as very ambitious."

Not stoppable

Germany safeguarded their passage from Group D thanks to a slender 1-0 victory over Ghana in their final group game, which followed a shock defeat by Serbia and their opening 4-0 win over 10-man Australia.

But Low feels his players will not live up to their billing unless they show a marked improvement from the Ghana game, warning them that any mistakes would be seized upon by the Three Lions.

"I want my attackers to be more focused, not lose any balls and run at them blindly and get caught on the counter," explained Low.

"England will know how to exploit these things. Give Rooney and Lampard space and they will not be stoppable."