Germany coach Joachim Low blames hectic club schedule on poor national form

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The World Cup champions narrowly edged Scotland 2-1 in a friendly last month before suffering a shock 2-0 defeat to Poland on Saturday in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.

The world champions were stunned by Poland on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat in European Qualifying Group D – their second loss in three games since the World Cup final.

Low will be without key players Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus ahead of tonight’s qualifier against the Republic of Ireland, and Low blames the club fixture list for tiring out his players.

“The load on players is too high. It’s not down to the international matches they play, but down to the high demands at club level,” he said.

“They are playing in their leagues, in cup competitions and the Champions League. I know that only applies to a select few players, but having been with Germany at many major tournaments – they need more breaks.

“They only had three weeks break after the World Cup, then they are back to the grind.”

Low admits his team are going through a difficult period, but has backed his men to overcome their bad patch and get through.

“We used to be the hunter; now we are the prey,” Low said.

“We know that teams like Scotland will play with incredible motivation against us - but that was true even after the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2012.

"We know the situation, we know how to get by it, but it's no different now than it used to be."