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Oct 5, 2012

Germany adds Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger was included Friday in the Germany squad to face the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The Bayern Munich midfielder was left out of Germany's past two fixtures against the Faroe Islands and Austria last month because of a minor injury, but national team coach Joachim Low has been convinced by his return to action in the Bundesliga with three goals in recent games.

"We did not choose him last time for a reason and that was to give him a chance in peace and quiet to get back into a training and match rhythm," said Low. "His performances with Bayern have shown that this was precisely the right choice. I am delighted that Bastian is back with us. It was always certain that Bastian would be in the squad for Ireland and Sweden."

The rest of Low's 22-man squad is identical to the one which won its first two qualifying games last month, with the exception of Julian Draxler's inclusion.

The young midfielder broke his arm in Schalke's midweek Champions League draw with Montpellier.

"It is, obviously, a very bitter injury for Julian," said Low. "We all wish him a speedy recovery."

Germany travels to Dublin next Friday night to face the Irish before hosting Sweden in Berlin four days later and Low says it is going to be a crucial few days of qualifying action.

"We have already laid the foundations for the qualification, but now it gets very serious," he said. "We know that we are favourites in the group and that is why we want to be successful in both of these games. We know what to expect in terms of the atmosphere in Dublin. The Irish will give everything in front of their own fans to beat us in their own stadium."

The visit of Sweden to the capital a week on Tuesday will be Germany's final home appointment of 2012 and Low wants to "end the year with a win in front of our own fans."

"It is not going to be easy, though," he added. "Sweden don't only have their world class striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but they also have an excellent team unity."

The Germany squad is:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Monchengladbach)

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Phillipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Mario Gotze (Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Dortmund), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Lars Bender (Leverkusen), Andre Schurrle (Leverkusen), Khedira (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Miroslav Klose (Lazio)

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