Schweinsteiger back with German squad

October 5, 2012, 12:40 PM

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FRANKFURT, Germany — Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is back in the Germany squad for World Cup qualifying matches against Ireland and Sweden.

Schweinsteiger was dropped for the first two games against the Faeroe Islands and Austria after losing form following a series of injuries last season, but he has come back strongly for Bayern since the start of the season.

"He is important for our team, he gives the impulse, he sets the pace," Germany coach Joachim Loew said on Friday. "He had time to get into form and he used the break well."

Loew said he would have a talk with Schweinsteiger about a recent interview in which the midfielder indicated the mood in the German team during the European Championship was not as upbeat as presented.

"I don’t know what he means, I’ll have to ask him. There were the usual little tensions when you are in a group for a long time, but the atmosphere was good," Loew said.

Defender and captain Philipp Lahm was suspended for the match in Ireland. Loew will be without striker Mario Gomez, who was still recovering from ankle surgery. The only striker was veteran Miroslav Klose.

"But Lukas Podolski can also play the position, he has played up front in Arsenal. We are very pleased with Lukas’ development in England, we have good feedback from (Arsenal coach) Arsene Wenger," Loew said.

Podolski left Cologne for Arsenal in the off-season. Loew usually uses Podolski on the left wing.

Loew said it was too early to talk about a possible return of goalkeeper Rene Adler, who has played well at his new club Hamburger SV.

Adler was Germany’s No. 1 goalkeeper before injuring his shoulder and missing the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Manuel Neuer replaced him and was firmly established as the first choice.

Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Guendogan dropped out of the squad on Friday because of a back injury in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City in the Champions League this week.

Loew said Germany had "two very important weeks" ahead and plays teams that were both at the European Championship in June.

Germany plays Ireland in Dublin on Oct. 12 and Sweden in Berlin on Oct. 16.

"We know what kind of atmosphere is awaiting us in Dublin. The Irish are going to try everything to beat us before their fans," Loew said.

"We then want to win our last game before our own fans this year. Sweden is not only Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they play as a tightly knit unit."

Germany leads Group C with six points from two matches. Ireland and Sweden have three points each in the campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"It’s not a given that we’ll win every qualifying match, but we’d like to go into the winter break with six more points," Loew said.

Germany, a three-time World Cup champion, was less than formidable against the Faeroes and especially in Austria, snatching a lucky 2-1 win.

"We’ve learned from that match, we made way too many mistakes in passing and in our attack," Loew said. "I think we’ll be in a better rhythm now."

——–

Germany:

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

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund).

Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern Munich).

Forward: Miroslav Klose (Lazio).

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