Schweinsteiger targets Irish qualifier
Soccer:Bastian Schweinsteiger will not feature for Germany until their World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on October 12th but coach Joachim Low has recalled Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker to his squad to face the Faroe Islands and Austria in the next fortnight.
The quartet were all left out for the international friendly with Argentina earlier this month but Schweinsteiger, who also missed that match, is still unavailable due to the player’s fitness.
“I have had a long talk with Bastian and we agreed that he still needs a bit more time to get back into his training and playing rhythm,” said Low. “Our plans with Bastian are focused on the internationals in October against Ireland and Sweden.”
Germany captain Lahm was left out on August 15th to witness the birth of his first child while the Arsenal duo of Podolski and Mertesacker were allowed to concentrate on the start of the Premier League season.
“It is good to have our captain back,” said Low, whose side were beaten 3-1 by the Argentinians. “And Per and Lukas have now played the first games in the Premier League and it was obvious that they would return for the start of qualifying.”
Germany start their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup at home to the Faroe Islands next Friday followed by a trip to Vienna four days later. “We are all delighted that things are getting underway,” added Low. “We want to play exciting football for the fans and qualify for the World Cup directly.
“Of course we would like to start with two wins in Hannover and Vienna so that we can pick up some momentum for the rest of the year.”
Germany qualified for Euro 2012 with a perfect record and, before the defeat to Italy in the semi-finals of that competition, they had won their previous 15 games.
Germany squad:Neuer (Bayern Munich), Zieler (Hannover), Ter Stegen (Monchengladbach); Boateng, Badstuber, Lahm (all Bayern Munich), Bender (Leverkusen), Hummels, Schmelzer (both Dortmund), Howedes (Schalke), Mertesacker (Arsenal); Gotze, Gundogan, Reus (all Dortmund), Draxler (Schalke), Ozil, Khedira (both Real Madrid), Kroos, Muller (both Bayern Munich), Schurrle (Leverkusen), Podolski (Arsenal); Klose (Lazio)