SPORT

Germany without Kroos for World Cup qualifying finale

GERMANY WITHOUT KROOS FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFYING FINALE

Germany will be without Toni Kroos on Sunday when they attempt to complete World Cup qualifying with a 100 per cent record against Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern.

The Real Madrid midfielder has been labouring with a rib injury and has been given time to recover, a statement from the German association DFB said Friday.

"We know what we have in Toni," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "When it comes to it we can always rely on him. It's important for us that the players are top-fit next year and come healthy and strong through a long, tiring season."

Holders Germany secured automatic qualification to the finals in Russia next year with a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland on Thursday. Kroos has already left the German team hotel in Belfast with the rest of the squad flying to Frankfurt after training later Friday.

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