Germany are five points clear in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group A following five straight wins and next face testing away trips to Austria and Azerbaijan, with Austria looking to bounce back from defeats against Belgium and Turkey when they welcome their neighbours. Belgium are Germany's closest challengers after ending Austria's unbeaten home record last time out and will look to keep up the pressure when they take on Turkey. UEFA.com rounds up the team news.
Miroslav Klose will miss both matches with a rib injury sustained in Sunday's 2-1 friendly win against Uruguay. Squad captain Michael Ballack has been omitted by Joachim Löw, who has called up Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Götze, although Sven Bender of Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund has had to withdraw because of a knee injury. Bastian Schweinsteiger is also absent with a fractured toe and Christian Träsch pulled out after twisting his left ankle in training on Tuesday while Sami Khedira only resumed training with a ball on Monday after a thigh problem.
"Michael will not be called up for the next three matches," said Löw on Ballack. "We have been in constant contact in the past weeks and had a meeting at the end of March." Heiko Westermann and Marcell Jensen are out of favour while Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker also miss out.
Sami Khedira and Simon Rolfes withdrew from the squad through injury on Sunday and will therefore miss the Azerbaijan game. They have been replaced by Lewis Holtby and Sebastian Rudy.
Goalkeepers: René Adler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen).
Defenders: Dennis Aogo (Hamburger SV), Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Arne Friedrich (VfL Wolfsburg), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Christian Träsch (VfB Stuttgart), Benedikt Höwedes (defender, FC Schalke 04)*.
Midfielders: Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München), Lewis Holtby (1. FSV Mainz 05)*, Sebastian Rudy (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)*.
Forwards: Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München), Miroslav Klose (FC Bayern München), André Schürrle (1. FSV Mainz 05).
SV Werder Bremen striker Marko Arnautović has been omitted from the 23-man squad by Dietmar Constantini, who has decided to included four uncapped players and five German Bundesliga-based Austrians for the encounter against Germany. Of Arnautović, Constantini said that he had opted "against talent but for the collective", adding: "Marko is extremely motivated but when he oversteps the line, as a coach you have lost him."
Though 1. FSV Mainz 05 midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz has also been excluded, the Austria coach has included Emanuel Pogatetz, Christian Fuchs, David Alaba, Erwin Hoffer and Martin Harnik – all of whom play their club football in Germany. Hans-Peter Berger of second-tier side FC Admira Wacker Mödling will deputise for injured goalkeeper Jürgen Macho (thigh), while winger Daniel Royer has been promoted from the Under-21s.
Goalkeepers: Helge Payer (SK Rapid Wien), Christian Gratzei (SK Sturm Graz), Hans-Peter Berger (FC Admira Wacker Mödling).
Defenders: Aleksandar Dragović (FC Basel 1893), Manuel Ortlechner (FK Austria Wien), Emanuel Pogatetz (Hannover 96), Thomas Schrammel (SV Ried), Ekrem Dag (Beşiktaş JK), Christian Fuchs (1. FSV Mainz 05), Florian Klein (FK Austria Wien).
Midfielders: Paul Scharner (West Bromwich Albion FC), David Alaba (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Julian Baumgartlinger (FK Austria Wien), Andreas Hölzl (SK Sturm Graz), Zlatko Junuzović (FK Austria Wien), Stefan Kulovits (SK Rapid Wien), Christoph Leitgeb (FC Salzburg), Daniel Royer (SV Ried), Manuel Weber (SK Sturm Graz).
Real Madrid CF's new signing Nuri Şahin misses out because of a knee injury but coach Guus Hiddink has handed Trabzonspor AŞ defender Egemen Korkmaz and Chelsea FC forward Gökhan Töre their first call-ups.
Goalkeepers: Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahçe SK), Sinan Bolat (R. Standard de Liège), Tolga Zengin (Trabzonspor AŞ).
Defenders: Gökhan Gönül (Fenerbahçe SK), Sabri Sarıoğlu (Galatasaray AŞ), Serdar Kesimal (Kayserispor), Gökhan Zan (Galatasaray AŞ), Servet Çetin (Galatasaray AŞ), Egemen Korkmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ), Emre Güngör (Gaziantepspor), Çağlar Birinci (Galatasaray AŞ), İsmail Köybaşı (Beşiktaş JK).
Midfielders: Hamit Altıntop (Real Madrid CF), Selçuk İnan (Trabzonspor AŞ), Mehmet Topal (Valencia CF), Mehmet Topuz (Fenerbahçe SK), Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK), Mehmet Ekici (SV Werder Bremen), Selçuk Şahin (Fenerbahçe SK), Arda Turan (Galatasaray AŞ), Engin Baytar (Trabzonspor AŞ).
Midfielder David Hubert has received his first call-up after captaining KRC Genk to the Belgian title, along with his 19-year-old team-mate Thibaut Courtois who stands in for injured goalkeeper Silvio Proto. Moussa Dembelé and Marouane Fellaini are injured but captain Thomas Vermaelen has been selected after a long absence. "My players have to concentrate on the match against Turkey," said coach Georges Leekens. "The Red Devils must be hungry. Only after 3 June can they think about holidays."
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (KRC Genk), Jean-François Gillet (AS Bari), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland AFC).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (AFC Ajax), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard de Liège), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC), Nicolas Lombaerts (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Daniel Van Buyten (FC Bayern München), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC).
Midfielders: Jan Vertonghen (AFC Ajax), Nacer Chadli (FC Twente), Kevin De Bruyne (KRC Genk), Steven Defour (R. Standard de Liège), David Hubert (KRC Genk), Dries Mertens (FC Utrecht), Vadis Odjidja (Club Brugge KV), Timmy Simons (1. FC Nürnberg), Jelle Van Damme (R. Standard de Liège), Axel Witsel (R. Standard de Liège).
Azerbaijan welcome back Rashad A. Sadygov for the first time since October's 3-0 defeat against Austria. There is also room for 20-year-old goalkeeper Andrei Popovich in the 23-man squad to face Kazakhstan and Germany. Coach Berti Vogts has released Neftçi PFK's Amit Guluzade, Javid Imamverdiyev and Araz Abdullayev for Under-21 duty as he looks to guide Azerbaijan to a second Group A victory.
Goalkeepers: Kamran Agayev (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Farkhad Veliyev (Qarabağ FK), Andrei Popovich (Absheron).
Defenders: Ruslan Abushev (Neftçi PFK), Rail Melikov (Neftçi PFK), Rashad F. Sadygov (Qarabağ FK), Maksim Medvedev (Qarabağ FK), Saša Yunisoğlu (Qäbälä PFK), Vurgun Huseynov (Turan PFK), Vladimir Levin (İnter Bakı PİK), Elnur Allahverdiyev (Xäzär Länkäran FK).
Midfielders: Rashad A. Sadygov (Qarabağ FK), Afran Ismayilov (Qarabağ FK), Ruslan Amirjanov (Neftçi PFK), Javid Huseynov (Neftçi PFK), Arif Isaev (Qäbälä PFK), Aleksandr Chertoganov (İnter Bakı PİK), Rahid Amirguliyev (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Elnur Abdullayev (Xäzär Länkäran FK).
Coach Miroslav Beránek has stressed the significance of the game against Azerbaijan if his side are to finish above their opponents in the Group A standings. Kazakhstan are yet to earn any points and name four uncapped players in their squad for the game in Astana on 3 June. Mukhtar Mukhtarov, Sergey Gridin, Daurenbek Tazhimbetov and Marat Khairullin are drafted in while FC Lokomotiv Astana captain Nurbol Zhumaskaliyev is omitted. "We all understand how important this match is," Beránek said. "I can promise we'll do all we can to avoid disappointing anyone. Our opponents are not weak and they will not give us three points easily. We'll have to earn them in a hard battle."
Goalkeepers: Aleksandr Mokin (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Andrei Sidelnikov (FC Aktobe), Roman Nesterenko (FC Ordabasy Shymkent).
Defenders: Samat Smakov (FC Aktobe), Yuri Logvinenko (FC Aktobe), Mikhail Rozhkov (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Mark Gurman (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Kairat Nurdauletov (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Aleksandr Kirov (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Mukhtar Mukhtarov (FC Ordabasy Shymkent).
Midfielders: Marat Khairullin (FC Aktobe), Kazbek Geteriyev (FC Zhemchuzhina Sochi), Serikzhan Muzhikov (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Ulan Konysbayev (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Marat Shakhmetov (FC Lokomotiv Astana), Heinrich Schmidtgal (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), Zhambyl Kukeyev (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Maksat Bayzhanov (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Vitaliy Yevsdigneyev (FC Ordabasy Shymkent).
Forwards: Sergei Ostapenko (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Sergei Khizhnichenko (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Sergey Gridin (FC Tobol Kostanay), Daurenbek Tazhimbetov (FC Ordabasy Shymkent).
Players in italics have withdrawn.
*Denotes replacement player.
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