BERLIN (AFP) Germany face Belgium on Friday with coach Joachim Loew expecting three points from their opening Euro 2012 qualifier as the Germans look to build on the momentum from the World Cup. Loews young squad finished third in South Africa and having finished as runnners-up at Euro 2008, when they lost in the final to Spain, they are favourites to win Group A in qualification. Germany are without captain Michael Ballack, who has been dropped for the Brussels game and next Tuesdays qualifier against Kazhakstan in Cologne, as he works his way back from the ankle injury which kept him out of the World Cup. Philipp Lahm will captain the side in Ballacks absence, but the team will be close to full strength at the Roi Baudouin stadium, the only exceptions being injured defenders Arne Friedrich, Jerome Boateng and Dennis Aogo. Loew says while his side earned plenty of praise for their World Cup performances, it is now time to put the experience gained in South Africa to good use. As nice as the praise for our performances at the World Cup was, a new chapter with interesting challenges is beginning, said Loew. Our goal must be to take six points from our first two games. Germany are currently ranked fourth in the world, while Belgium are ranked 48th, behind Burkino Faso and Venezuela, and history is against the Belgiums. No fewer than 14 matches have passed since Belgiums last win against a side representing Germany when they beat the former Federal Republic of Germany 2-0 in a friendly in Brussels in September 1954. Under new coach Georges Leekens, who took over in May, Loew expects Belgium to give Germany a hard game at home. Defensive midfielder Timmy Simons will be making his first appearance in a Belgium shirt for a year as Leekens looks to toughen up his sides midfield. He is a young warrior, the type that does everything he can to succeed, said Leekens of the 74-times capped, 33-year-old Nuremberg midfielder. I brought him back to bring some balance to the team. Germanys all-star attack boasts names like Real Madrids Mesut Ozil, Bayern Munichs Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Bayern Munich centre-back Daniel van Buyten will be in the heart of the Belgian defence come Friday and admits his side will have their work cut out. We have a very talented young squad and really want to finally make it to a big tournament, to do this we need a good start, said the defender. Against Germany, it will be very tough, they are really strong. Leekenss squad is under pressure to pick up points against Germany, but have several talented youngsters in their squad. Teenage striker Romelu Lukaku, who is 17-year-old, has been chased by many top European clubs and Eden Hazard, 19, from French side Lille is also considered an exceptional talent. Brugge striker Jelle Vossen is a talented forward while Fulhams Moussa Dembele and Evertons Marouane Fellaini bring some Premier League experience to the squad and will be led by Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen. Belgium finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics, to give the country some hope, but Simons is aware of the challenge ahead. They will punish our mistakes hard, so it is important that we concentrate very hard, but I dont think victory is impossible for us, he said.