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Schweinsteiger back for Germanys double header
Published : 14 Mar 2013 14:46:58
Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger was on Thursday recalled to the national squad for the double headers against minnows Kazakhstan in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Bayern Munich midfielder missed Germany's 2-1 friendly win over France in Paris last month with injury, but coach Joachim Loew has included him for the matches in Astana on March 22 and the return leg in Nuremberg on March 26.
There are no surprises in Loew's squad with 12 players from either Bayern or German champions Borussia Dortmund included in the 23-man squad.
Veteran striker Miroslav Klose, who is just one short of Gerd Mueller's record for the most goals scored in a German shirt, misses out as he recovers from a knee injury.
With Bayer Leverkusen's in-form forward Stefan Kiessling again overlooked by Loew, Bayern's Mario Gomez is named as the only striker in the squad.
Dortmund trio Mario Goetze, Marco Reus and Marcel Schmelzer all return after missing the French friendly through injury.
Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expected to be between the posts against Kazakhstan, ranked 142nd in the world compared to Germany, who are second only to Spain, after Hamburg's Rene Adler took his place in the win over France.
Having already beaten Kazakhstan 3-0 in Astana during a Euro 2012 qualifier, Loew says the Germans must be on their guard.
"During the Euro qualifiers, we saw that Kazakhstan are an uncomfortable team to play against, but our goal has to be to take six points," said Loew.
Germany are top of Group C, three points clear of Sweden, who have a game in hand with the two teams set to meet in Berlin in October.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Hamburg), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)
Midfield: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Sven Bender, Mario Goetze, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus (all Dortmund), Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil (both Real Madrid), Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (all Bayern), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen)
Striker: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich)