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Germany bidding to take final step

Published: Tuesday 30 August 2011, 13.28CET
Germany welcome Austria on Friday knowing victory would clinch first place but the race for second is still very much alive with Belgium and Turkey also facing crucial games.
Germany bidding to take final step
Germany (pictured in training this week) can seal their qualification from Group A ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 30 August 2011, 13.28CET

Germany bidding to take final step

Germany welcome Austria on Friday knowing victory would clinch first place but the race for second is still very much alive with Belgium and Turkey also facing crucial games.

Group A leaders Germany will become the first country to book their place from UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying if they defeat neighbours Austria on Friday. Should Joachim Löw's men lose their 100% record in the section, they will qualify for the finals regardless should Turkey fail to overcome Kazakhstan in Istanbul.

2 September: Azerbaijan v Belgium, Turkey v Kazakhstan, Germany v Austria

6 September: Azerbaijan v Kazakhstan, Austria v Turkey

Latest standings

Germany (21 points)
Injury deprives Löw of Sami Khedira, Marco Reus and Mario Gomez for the visit of Austria and the friendly with Poland on 6 September. Mesut Özil and Marcel Schmelzer – rested for the 3-2 win against Brazil on 10 August – return, although Dennis Aogo and Ilkay Gündogan are left out this time. While the in-form Gomez is replaced by Cacau. there is a first call-up for Hannover 96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler. "Our focus is just on the Austria match," said Löw. "Yes, we have a big lead in the group and our position is very good, but we have not qualified yet for Poland and Ukraine."

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).

Defenders: Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Jerome Boateng (FC Bayern München), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (SV Werder Bremen), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Christian Träsch (VfL Wolfsburg).

Midfielders: Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund)*, Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln), Simon Rolfes (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München).

Forwards: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Miroslav Klose (S.S. Lazio).

*Withdrawn

Belgium (11 pts)
Eden Hazard returns for the trip to Azerbaijan and the 6 September friendly against the United States in Brussels along with Moussa Dembélé and Denis Odoi. Hazard was left out of August's 0-0 friendly draw in Slovenia after showing his displeasure at being substituted against Turkey on 3 June; however, Georges Leekens has recalled the LOSC Lille Métropole playmaker. Dembélé is back from injury and right-back Odoi has his first call-up. Leekens said of Hazard: "We both start with a blank page and with a shared love for the national team. The past is forgotten." Defenders Daniel Van Buyten and Thomas Vermaelen have pulled out injured with Laurent Ciman called up.

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Club Atlético de Madrid), Jean-François Gillet (Bologna FC), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland AFC).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (AFC Ajax), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC), Nicolas Lombaerts (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Denis Odoi (RSC Anderlecht), Daniel Van Buyten (FC Bayern Munchen)*, Jelle Van Damme (R. Standard de Liège), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC)*, Jan Vertonghen (AFC Ajax), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard de Liège)**.

Midfielders: Dries Mertens (PSV Eindhoven), Marouane Fellaini (Everton FC), David Hubert (KRC Genk), Vadis Odjidja (Club Brugge KV), Timmy Simons (FC Nürnberg), Axel Witsel (SL Benfica).

Forwards: Moussa Dembélé (Fulham FC), Igor De Camargo (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC), Marvin Ogunjimi (KRC Genk), Bjorn Vleminckx (Club Brugge KV)*, Eden Hazard (LOSC Lille Métropole), Jelle Vossen (KRC Genk).

*Withdrawn
**Added

Turkey (10 pts)
Guus Hiddink is without Real Madrid CF duo Hamit Altıntop and Nuri Şahin for the games against Kazakhstan and Austria. The midfield pair are sidelined through injury while Beşiktaş JK defender Egemen Korkmaz and Trabzonspor AŞ goalkeeper Tolga Zengin are restored to the squad after missing the 3-0 friendly victory against Estonia.

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 (Fenerbahçe SK), Gökhan Zan (Galatasaray AŞ), Servet Çetin (Galatasaray AŞ), Egemen Korkmaz (Beşiktaş JK), Hakan Balta (Galatasaray AŞ), İsmail Köybaşı (Beşiktaş JK), Çağlar Birinci (Galatasaray AŞ).

Midfielders: Mehmet Ekici (SV Werder Bremen), Tunay Torun (Hertha BSC Berlin), Selçuk İnan (Galatasaray AŞ), Selçuk Şahin (Fenerbahçe SK), Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK), Mehmet Topal (Valencia CF), Arda Turan (Club Atlético de Madrid).

Forwards: Gökhan Töre (Hamburger SV), Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ), Cenk Tosun (Gaziantepspor), Kazım Kazım (Galatasaray AŞ), Umut Bulut (Toulouse FC).

Austria (7 pts)
Dietmar Constantini has resisted the temptation to make sweeping alterations to his squad despite five defeats in six matches this calendar year. "I see no reason to change a lot," he said. "I want to win, together with my players. We will face up, show pride and fight from the first whistle till the last." SK Sturm Graz striker Roman Kienast misses out with a fractured metatarsal, but that has not led to a recall for FK Austria Wien's Roland Linz. "He is a poacher and I don't think we'll be in Germany's area a lot – we will try to get them on the counterattack," explained Constantini, who has given a late call-up to Marko Arnautović.

Goalkeepers: Christian Gratzei (SK Sturm Graz), Pascal Grünwald (FK Austria Wien), Helge Payer (SK Rapid Wien).

Defenders: Ekrem Dağ (Beşiktaş JK), Christopher Dibon (FC Admira Wacker Mödling), Aleksandar Dragović (FC Basel 1893), Christian Fuchs (FC Schalke 04), Florian Klein (FK Austria Wien), Manuel Ortlechner (FK Austria Wien), Emanuel Pogatetz (Hannover 96), Paul Scharner (West Bromwich Albion FC), Thomas Schrammel (SK Rapid Wien).

Midfielders: David Alaba (FC Bayern München), Julian Baumgartlinger (1. FSV Mainz 05), Jakob Jantscher (FC Salzburg), Zlatko Junuzović (FK Austria Wien), Stefan Kulovits (SK Rapid Wien), Daniel Royer (Hannover 96), Manuel Weber (SK Sturm Graz).

Forwards: Martin Harnik (VfB Stuttgart), Erwin Hoffer (Eintracht Frankfurt), Marc Janko (FC Twente).

Azerbaijan (3 pts)
Qarabağ FK's Namig Yusifov says he cannot wait for the "honour" of representing his country after receiving his first call-up for the games against Belgium and Kazakhstan. The 25-year-old midfielder was named in Berti Vogts's squad alongside Serbia-born Branimir Subašić who returns to the scene after a two-year absence. "I have waited so long for this," said Yusifov. "Many of my club-mates play for Azerbaijan and now I am joining them. I will try to win a place in the team and be involved in the coming games."

Goalkeepers: Kamran Agayev (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Andriy Popovich (Sumqayit Şähär PFK), Agil Mammadov (Bakı FK).

Defenders: Rashad F Sadygov (Qarabağ FK), Saša Yunisoğlu (Qäbälä PFK), Vurgun Huseynov (Qäbälä PFK), Agil Nabiyev (Olimpik-Şüvälan PFK), Rail Melikov (Neftçi PFK), Ruslan Ämircanov (Neftçi PFK), Elnur Allahverdiyev (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Ruslan Abışov (Neftçi PFK).

Midfielders: Aleksandr Chertoganov (İnter Bakı PİK), Mahir Shukurov (Qäbälä PFK), Rashad A Sadygov (Qarabağ FK), Namig Yusifov (Qarabağ FK), Afran Ismayilov (Qarabağ FK), Rahid Amirguliyev (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Ufuk Budak (SC Freiburg).

Forwards: Branimir Subašić (Xäzär Länkäran FK), Vagif Javadov (FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod), Rauf Aliyev (Qarabağ FK), Elshan Mammadov (Olimpik-Şüvälan PFK), Murad Huseynov (Qäbälä PFK).

Kazakhstan (3 pts)
FK Aktobe captain Samat Smakov has decided to end his international career. "To be honest I'd thought to take this decision for a long time," said the 33-year-old, who scored one goal in 59 appearances. "I had a look at my own performance during the [1-1 draw] against Syria, noticed some mistakes and then I went to speak with Miroslav Beranek. I need make way for young players." Coach Beranek has called up uncapped FC Taraz duo Nurtas Kurgulin and Dmitri Yevstigneev but is without Kazbek Geteriyev and Sergej Karimov.

Goalkeepers: Vladimir Loginovskiy (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Aleksandr Mokin (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Anton Tsirin (FC Irtysh Pavlodar).

Defenders: Kairat Nurdauletov (FC Astana), Yuri Logvinenko (FC Aktobe), Mukhtar Mukhtarov (FC Ordabasy Shymkent), Mark Gurman (FC Astana), Nurtas Kurgulin (FC Taraz), Mikhail Rozhkov (FC Astana), Aleksandr Kirov (FC Shakhter Karagandy).

Midfielders: Maksat Bayzhanov (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Marat Khairullin (FC Aktobe), Heinrich Schmidtgal (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), Serikzhan Muzhikov (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Ulan Konysbayev (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Marat Shakhmetov (FC Astana), Dmitri Yevstigneev (FC Taraz), Zhambyl Kukeyev (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Vitaliy Yevstigneyev (FC Ordabasy Shymkent).

Forwards: Sergei Ostapenko (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Tanat Nusserbayev (FC Astana), Sergei Gridin (FC Tobol Kostanay), Sergei Khizhnichenko (FC Shakhter Karagandy).

Last updated: 31/08/11 16.24CET

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