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German Coach Sticks With Tried and Tested Squad for Qualifiers

Germany coach Joachim Loew called up an experienced Germany squad for next Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein and Finland, four days later.

Michael Ballack, right, talks to his coach Joachim Loew, left, during a training session

Jogi Loew can welcome his skipper back, but Ballack will likely stay on the bench

Loew has recalled Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings, who missed last week's 2-0 victory against Belgium in an international friendly, but is still without the services of Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker and goalkeeper Rene Adler.

The German Soccer Federation (DFB), however, said Saturday, Aug. 30, that a foot injury would likely keep Ballack from taking the field, though he will still join the team on Tuesday.

"It looks at present that the captain will need a longer break from training," the DFB said.

Ballack has pulled out of Chelsea's derby match with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday because of metatarsal bone bruising.

Friedrich has pulled out of the World Cup qualifiers to concentrate on achieving full fitness with his club. He was quoted by German media Wednesday as saying he had reached agreement with coach Loew on an individual fitness program to help him recover fully from a lower back injury.

The 29-year-old Hertha Berlin defender missed much of pre-season training but is back in the Hertha side and played in Thursday's UEFA Cup qualification-round match at home against Slovenian side NK Ljubljana.

Enke gets chance to shine in goal

Robert Enke makes a save

Robert Enke gets a chance to stake his claim as No. 1

Hanover goalkeeper Robert Enke will be first choice between the posts for Germany, Loew said.

Werder Bremen's Tim Wiese was also named in the squad for the matches in Liechtenstein and Finland.

Wiese was called up for the recent friendly against Belgium after injury to Bayer Leverkusen stopper Adler. With Adler still injured, 30-year-old Enke will get another chance to claim the number one jersey for himself.

"You can expect that he will again be the number one in Vaduz and Helsinki," Loew said.

All 18 players who were in the squad against Belgium also got the nod for the two World Cup qualifiers.

Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Robert Enke (Hanover 96), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Marcell Jansen (SV Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Christoph Metzelder (Real Madrid), Christian Pander (Schalke 04), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Marko Marin (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (SV Hamburg)

Strikers: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich)

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