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Germany wait on Podolski, Klose for Kazakhstan

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13 Mar 2013 13:17:01

Germany wait on Podolski, Klose for Kazakhstan

Forwards Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski look set to be included Thursday in Germany coach Joachim Loew's squad to face Kazakhstan in home and away World Cup qualifiers, despite suffering from injuries.

Germany play Kazakhstan in Astana on Friday March 22 before the return leg in Nuremberg on Tuesday March 26 and Loew's team are expected to take six points in Group C against the Eastern European minnows, ranked 142nd in the world.

Lazio striker Klose has been out for several weeks with a partially torn ligament in his right knee and will be examined by German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt in Rome on Monday.

Likewise, Loew is waiting to hear on Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, who misses Wednesday's Champions League last 16, second leg match at Bayern Munich with an ankle injury.

"It's not a tournament year, but still an important one that requires our full concentration and our priority is to qualify for Brazil 2014," said Loew.

The Germans need to make sure of the six points with Sweden, second in the group but with a game in hand, just three points behind after Loew's team let a 4-0 lead slip to a 4-4 draw against the Swedes in last October's qualifier.

There are no big surprises expected in Loew's squad with Schalke 04's impressive 19-year-old midfielder Julian Draxler set to be called up again having made the squad which beat France 2-1 in Paris last month in a friendly.

Loew will be without his two centre-backs as Bayern's Holger Badstuber continues to recover from knee surgery in December, while Dortmund's Mats Hummels has torn ankle ligaments.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker is expected to be named in the heart of the defence alongside Schalke 04 captain Benedikt Hoewedes.


AFP

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