Euro 2012 qual. - Ozil returns to Germany squad

Fri, 26 Aug 12:00:00 2011

Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil has returned to the Germany squad ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Austria next week after missing the friendly 3-2 win over Brazil earlier in August.

2010 World Cup Germany Mesut Ozil - 0

Ozil, who had not been called up for that match to give the 22-year-old some rest following a string of club commitments, will return as Germany look to seal their ticket for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next year.

"Our focus is now exclusively on the Austria match," said coach Joachim Loew, with Germany top of Group A on 21 points following seven wins from seven games. Victory against Austria would see them through with two games to spare.

"Obviously our starting position is very good but we are not through yet. So we want to make sure we are through with a win against Austria so as to start planning for the Euros."

Germany also play Poland in a friendly on September 6.

Ozil, however, will be without his Real team-mate Sami Khedira, who is still recovering from an adductor muscle injury and was ruled out on Friday after talks between team doctors and Real Madrid officials, the German federation said.

Khedira also missed the Brazil game.

Defender Per Mertesacker is making a comeback after playing his last international back in March and having recovered after a long injury break.

"I am glad that Per is back fit and can be with us," said Loew of the Werder Bremen central defender, who has won 75 caps.

The only newcomer is goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, who replaces injured Rene Adler as the third choice behindManuel Neuer and Tim Wiese.

Germany Squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover);

Defenders: Holger BadstuberPhilipp LahmJerome Boateng (all Bayern Munich), Marcel SchmelzerMats Hummels(all Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Christian Traesch (Wolfsburg);

Midfielders: Toni KroosBastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller (all Bayern Munich), Sven BenderMario Goetze (all Borussia Dortmund), Simon Rolfes, Andre Schuerrle (all Bayer Leverkusen), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski(Cologne), Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach);

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).

Reuters

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