Schweinsteiger makes Germany return
Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger has been recalled to the Germany squad for the first time after Euro 2012, manager Jogi Low has announced.
There were no big surprises when the squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden was unveiled. All players but Schweinsteiger had already been called up for the first round of qualifiers in early September.
"It was always clear that Bastian would come back for the Ireland and Sweden games", Low said. "I did not call him up for a reason before, he needed the chance to get back into the training and match rhythm. His performances for Bayern have shown that this was right."
The Germany coach however has do to without Schalke's Julian Draxler (forearm fracture) and Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan, who suffered a back injury in BVB's clash with Manchester City and will be sidelined for two weeks, BVB announcing this news minutes after the midfielder had been called up to Low's squad.
The national coach did not give in to pressure from the German media, who tried to write Hamburg goalkeeper René Adler into the squad. Low said he was "happy about Adler's strong form" but he was "convinced of the three keepers" - namely: Manuel Neuer, Marc-André ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach) and Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).
Germany will be without captain Philipp Lahm against Ireland in Dublin. The Bayern player sits out after two yellow cards. He could be replaced by either Lars Bender or Jerome Boateng. The only striker again is Lazio's Miroslav Klose but Low explained Marco Reus or Lukas Podolski could also fill in up front.
"We have reached a significant phase, where we set the course for the rest of the qualification. We are aware that we are the favourites in this group and thus we want to play two successful matches," Low added.
"We know what kind of atmosphere to expect in Dublin. The Irish will give all they can to beat us in front of their home fans," he explained and on Sweden said, "the Swedish team is not about their world class player Zlatan Ibrahimovic only, but instead they convince as a team."
In any case, Germany, who face Sweden at home in Berlin, wants to say goodbye to their home fans with a win.