Klose - Gerrard key for England

Schweinsteiger admits to Ballack setback

Gerrard: A threat to Germany

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Miroslav Klose thinks that England captain Steven Gerrard is a greater threat to Germany than Wayne Rooney.

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Germany and England are preparing to meet in the last 16 of the World Cup on Sunday afternoon in South Africa as they renew their long-standing rivalry.

Ahead of kick-off there has been plenty of speculation over the form and fitness of Rooney, who is viewed as essential to the Three Lions' hopes of success.

But Klose, who will return from suspension for the meeting with England, thinks Liverpool skipper Gerrard is just as influential as Rooney.

"I personally like Steven Gerrard as a player," Klose told the Daily Star Sunday.

"In many ways I see him as more important than Wayne Rooney as he can create everything for England in the middle of the park."

Klose also claims that Germany have not prepared specific tactics for Rooney.

"I know a lot of hope is on Wayne Rooney for the England team but we won't give him any special attention," he added.

History

"Yes he is a good player and we will mark him like we would any good player, but we won't be doubling-up on him or anything like that."

Klose is not getting carried away by the rivalry between the two nations, adding: "There is history with England and we are all aware of that.

"But I look at it as a last-16 match that gets us one game closer to the World Cup final.

"I see them (England) as an obstacle that I need to get over in order to get my hands on the World Cup."

Meanwhile, Bastian Schweinsteiger is concerned that Germany will struggle against England due to the injury-enforced absence of Michael Ballack.

He said: "What a major blow it has been losing someone of Michael's stature and prominence on our side.

"It's a blow to Michael and a blow to all of Germany. The man has got it all. The quality, the drive and respect of all the dressing room.

"We will miss him so much, particularly against England. He was all fried up for this tournament."