Joachim Loew has recalled Bastian Schweinsteiger for Germany’s World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden.
The Bayern Munich midfielder was dropped from the squad that opened their qualifying campaign in September, following an injury-ridden 12 months and a loss of form.
But with that now behind him, Loew has welcomed the 28-year-old back into the fold and stated that his return was always likely.
“It was always clear that Bastian would come back for the Ireland and Sweden games,” Loew said.
“I did not call him up for a reason before, he needed the chance to get back into the training and match rhythm. His performances for Bayern have shown that this was right.”
The 52-year-old will be without Schalke’s Julian Draxler (broken arm) and Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, who will be sidelined for two weeks after suffering a back injury in Wednesday’s Champions League draw with Manchester City.
Loew also refused to be swayed by media pressure in Germany to give a call up to Hamburg’s goalkeeper Rene Adler following a strong start to the season.
He said he was ‘happy about Adler’s strong form’ but remained ‘convinced of the three keepers’, in reference to Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ron-Robert Zieler.
Germany will be without their captain Phillip Lahm for next Friday’s clash with Ireland due to suspension, with Lars Bender or Jerome Boateng likely to deputise. Lazio’s Miroslav Klose remains the only out and out striker in the squad.
And looking ahead to the next two fixtures, Low believes they may well be vital in deciding the composition of Group C.
“We have reached a significant phase where we set the course for the rest of the qualification. We are aware that we are the favourites in this group and as a result we want to play two successful matches,” Loew added.
“We know what kind of atmosphere to expect in Dublin. The Irish will give all they can to beat us in front of their home fans.
“The Swedish team is not only about their world-class player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but about their team as a whole.”
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover).
Defenders: Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng (both Bayern Munich), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund).
Striker: Miroslav Klose (Lazio).