Schweinsteiger, Goetze, Kroos back for Germany
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew recalled Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze and Toni Kroos to his squad Friday for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and the Faeroe Islands.
The Bayern Munich players missed Germany’s friendly with Paraguay on Aug. 14 but return to face Austria in Munich on Sept. 6 and the Faeroe Islands in Torshavn four days later.
The Germans have a five-point lead in Group C after six matches.
“We have a head start as leaders in our World Cup qualifying group but we’re not yet qualified for the finals in Brazil,” Loew said Friday. “It’s our clear objective to take another step there with two wins.”
Loew also called up Sidney Sam and Max Kruse after their impressive starts to the season for Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach, respectively.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, Hamburger SV defender Marcell Jansen and Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski missed out through injury.
Loew is expecting a tough game against Austria, which is level with Sweden and Ireland, five points behind unbeaten Germany.
“Everyone knows that our neighbors are always highly motivated in games against Germany. Austria are characterized by putting opponents under pressure and switching play quickly,” Loew said. “The Austrians will do anything to boost their chances of qualifying. So we have to be fully concentrated from the start.”
Loew said it was important not to allow any complacency against the Faeroe Islands.
“For the Faeroe Islands, it’s the game of the year, and of course they want to annoy us as favorites,” he said.
Germany plays Ireland on Oct. 11 in Cologne, and then Sweden away four days later.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Rene Adler (Hamburger SV), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea).
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Fiorentina), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Max Kruse (Borussia Moenchengladbach).