World Cup: Bastian Schweinsteiger the only addition to Germany squad
Last Updated: March 14, 2013 2:48pm
Bastian Schweinsteiger: International return
Fit-again Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is the only addition to the Germany squad as coach Joachim Low named his group for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Kazakhstan later this month.
Low once again left out the Bundesliga's top scorer Stefan Kiessling, in spite of the continued absence of Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, with Schweinsteiger's inclusion and the absence due to injury of Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels the sole changes from the last squad Low picked.
"I'm really sorry for Mats and I hope that he can play again as soon as possible," said the Germany coach.
"Nevertheless, we have a huge selection of players who can give our central defence the necessary stability."
Rene Adler kept goal in the friendly against France last month but Manuel Neuer will return, fitness permitting, for the competitive games coming up.
"At the moment, Manuel is and remains our number one in goal," said Low.
"We plan for him to play both games against Kazakhstan.
"The pecking order behind him is wide open. Rene Adler proved his extraordinary quality recently against France and we have very good alternatives with him and Ron-Robert Zieler.
"Basically, we have excellent options as far as the goalkeeper is concerned in Germany - we are spoilt for choice."
Germany go into the two games, which they are expected to win, with 10 points from their first four qualifying matches, just three more than Sweden, who have played a game less and are breathing down their necks following a dramatic 4-4 draw last year.
"We are only focusing on ourselves and are fully focused on qualifying, which is our big goal this year," added Low, whose side face Sweden in a potentially decisive final qualifying match.
Germany first face Kazakhstan away next Friday (March 22) before staging the return match four days later in Nuremberg.