Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Germany-Paraguay Preview: Bayern and Dortmund stars return

Die Mannschaft have been hampered by injuries to Bastian Schweinsteger, Mario Gotze and Julian Draxler as they look to return to winning ways against Victor Genes' side

Bayern Munich duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze are key omissions from Germany's squad to face Paraguay on Wednesday.

The midfield pair have been hampered by injuries in pre-season, with Schweinsteiger struggling with an ankle complaint while Gotze steps-up his recovery from a groin injury, and Joachim Low has decided not to risk their fitness for the fixture at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

Low has recalled nine players from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund who were left out of the country's two-match tour of the
United States in June, having featured in May's Champions League final.

Among those brought back are Bayern defenders Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm, while Dortmund midfielders Sven Bender and Marco Reus are also named as Germany keep one eye on the autumn's vital World Cup qualifiers.

However, Schalke's 21-year-old star Julian Draxler was forced to withdraw from the squad after injuring his Achilles tendon in the club's 3-3 draw with Hamburg.

An experimental Germany side lost their last fixture 4-3 against the United States in June, ending a nine-game unbeaten run.

Paraguay boss Victor Genes has named a 21-man squad, including Barcelona's 17-year-old striker Antonio Sanabria, who is a reported transfer target for Premier League side Arsenal.

Liga MX outfit Toluca are well represented, with Richard Ortiz, Pablo Velazquez and Edgar Benitez all included.

Paraguay have lost their last two fixtures, both World Cup qualifiers, against Ecuador and Chile, and they sit bottom of the South American qualifying table with eight points from 12 games.