Belgium will be keen to end a dispiriting run of results against their neighbours as 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists Germany − strengthened by the return of René Adler, Heiko Westermann and Christian Träsch − target a positive start to their UEFA EURO 2012 Group A qualifying campaign.
• Having not played for his country since a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying loss against Armenia on 9 September 2009, defensive midfielder Timmy Simons has returned to the Belgium squad, with new coach Georges Leekens saying of the 74-times capped 33-year-old: "He is a young warrior, the type that does everything he can to succeed. I brought him back to bring some balance to the team."
• Leekens lost no fewer than five players to injury in the days leading up to the Germany fixture, with R. Standard de Liège midfielder Mehdi Carcela-González and his RSC Anderlecht counterpart Jonathan Legear dropping out along with the Brussels side's goalkeeper Silvio Proto, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC defender Jelle Van Damme and Nicolas Lombaerts of FC Zenit St. Petersburg. Fulham FC forward Moussa Dembélé, uncapped KV Kortrijk goalkeeper Glenn Verbauwhede and KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen midfielder Faris Haroun filled some of the gaps.
• Belgium squad
Goalkeepers: Logan Bailly (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jean-François Gillet (AS Bari), Glenn Verbauwhede (KV Kortrijk)
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (AFC Ajax), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard de Liège), Olivier Deschacht (RSC Anderlecht), Guillaume Gillet (RSC Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC), Daniel Van Buyten (FC Bayern München), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC)
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (KRC Genk), Steven Defour (R. Standard de Liège), Marouane Fellaini (Everton FC), Timmy Simons (1. FC Nürnberg), Jan Vertonghen (AFC Ajax), Axel Witsel (R. Standard de Liège), Faris Haroun (KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen)
Forwards: Christian Benteke (R. Standard de Liège), Eden Hazard (LOSC Lille Métropole), Romelu Lukaku (RSC Anderlecht), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiacos FC), Jelle Vossen (KRC Genk), Moussa Dembélé (Fulham FC)
• Joachim Löw will give Michael Ballack more time to recover from injury before bringing him back into the Germany squad, but Adler, Westermann and Träsch are back in contention after missing the FIFA World Cup finals. Knocks mean Arne Friedrich, Jérôme Boateng, Piotr Trochowski and Dennis Aogo are not in the mix, nor is Serdar Tasci, who is struggling for a first-team place at VfB Stuttgart. Löw said: "As nice as the praise for our performances at the World Cup was, a new chapter with interesting challenges is beginning."
• Germany squad
Goalkeepers: René Adler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (SV Werder Bremen), Sascha Riether (VfL Wolfsburg), Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV)
Midfielders: Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Marko Marin (SV Werder Bremen), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München), Christian Träsch (VfB Stuttgart)
Forwards: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Mario Gómez (FC Bayern München), Miroslav Klose (FC Bayern München), Stefan Kießling (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
• Belgium's record in 23 games against Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany reads W4 D1 L18 (W3 D0 L8 at home). Their record against the former German Democratic Republic was a somewhat healthier W3 D2 L3 (W2 D0 L2 at home).
• Belgium have lost all six of their contests with Germany since German unification. In total, they are on a run of seven defeats by Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany since a 0-0 friendly draw in Munich on 22 September 1982.
• No fewer than 14 matches have passed since Belgium's last win against a Germany or Federal Republic of Germany side: they beat the latter 2-0 in a friendly in Brussels on 26 September 1954.
• That 14-game sequence includes the final of the 1980 UEFA European Championship, which the Federal Republic of Germany won 2-1 in Rome thanks to a Horst Hrubesch double, his second effort coming in the final minutes after René Vandereycken had levelled from the penalty spot.
• Oddly, Belgium had the better of the early encounters between the two nations, winning their first three friendly games against Germany in 1910, 1911 and 1913. Their 1954 triumph in Brussels remains their only victory since then, however.
• Belgium won three and lost two of their home qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Germany's five away trips in the same campaign brought four wins and a 3-3 draw in Finland.
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