Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger insists Germany will win both their forthcoming World Cup 2010 qualifying matches without key injured veterans Torsten Frings and Michael Ballack.
“It is important to win these two matches,” said Bayern Munich's Schweinsteiger with Germany set to face minnows Liechtenstein in Vaduz on Saturday and Finland in Helsinki next Wednesday.
“We know that we have a lot of potential and quality in the side.
“We are young and we are hungry.
“Of course, Ballack and Frings are two important players, but we are owed a victory.”
Defensive midfielder Frings, with 77 caps for his country, was forced to pull out of both games after breaking his nose playing in an exhibition game of basketball for his club Werder Bremen at the weekend.
And attacking midfielder Germany captain Ballack, who has 87 caps, has had to withdraw after injuring his foot playing for Premier League side Chelsea.
Germany coach Joachim Loew says Ballack will need another “eight or nine days rest” before he will be fit and in his absence Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose is expected to captain Germany.
Die Mannschaft have been drawn with Russia, Finland, Azerbaijan, Wales and Liechtenstein in Group 4 for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and manager Oliver Bierhoff insists it will not be an easy group.
“Our objective is to finish first, but the Russians showed what they are worth during Euro 2008 and Finland only just missed out on qualifying,” said Bierhoff.
In their only game since losing the Euro 2008 final against Spain 1-0 in Vienna, Germany beat Belgium 2-0 on August 20 without both Ballack and Frings.
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