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Turkey and Belgium facing German tests

Published: Tuesday 4 October 2011, 10.30CET
Already certain of top spot in Group A, Germany's attempts to finish with a perfect record will be tested by Turkey and Belgium, the two teams vying to secure the play-off spot.
Turkey and Belgium facing German tests
Guus Hiddink will guide Turkey to second place in Group A with victories against Germany and Azerbaijan ©Getty Images
 
Published: Tuesday 4 October 2011, 10.30CET

Turkey and Belgium facing German tests

Already certain of top spot in Group A, Germany's attempts to finish with a perfect record will be tested by Turkey and Belgium, the two teams vying to secure the play-off spot.

Germany have been in charge throughout the Group A campaign and became the first team in qualifying to book their finals berth on 2 September. Second spot remains up for grabs, though Austria are no longer in the running. Turkey are favourites to be runners-up but must first face Joachim Löw's team in the knowledge that Belgium are hot on their heels.

7 October: Turkey v Germany, Belgium v Kazakhstan

11 October: Germany v Belgium, Turkey v Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan v Austria

Latest standings

Germany (24 points)
Having missed out on September's games against Austria and Poland due to injury, Real Madrid CF's Sami Khedira is back in the squad. Striker Mario Gomez and defender Dennis Aogo also return, while Marco Reus and goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler are both in the reckoning to win their first caps. Borussia Dortmund's Sven Bender and Marcel Schmelzer have dropped out of Löw's squad with injury.

"It was important for us to qualify as soon as possible," said the coach. "That was achieved by beating Austria [6-2], but now we want to fully focus on the last two games. It is our goal to finish qualifying with ten wins."

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

Defenders: Dennis Aogo (Hamburger SV), Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München), Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal FC), Christian Träsch (VfL Wolfsburg).

Midfielders: Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Simon Rolfes (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München).

Forwards: Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München), Miroslav Klose (S.S. Lazio), Cacau (VfB Stuttgart).

Turkey (14pts)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen defender Ömer Toprak has been called up for the first time after committing to Turkey; the defender won the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Championship with Germany. Paris Saint-Germain FC forward Mevlüt Erdinç and Beşiktaş JK midfielder Mehmet Aurélio have returned to the side following almost a year out of the reckoning. Trabzonspor AŞ defender Giray Kaçar also returns, and Mersin İdman Yurdu goalkeeper Hakan Arıkan replaces the injured Tolga Zengin.

Head coach Guus Hiddink said: "We are still in control for a play-off place. The game against Germany will be very difficult because they are a team who have been playing together for a long time and are also very creative. I am not underestimating the strength of my players, especially at home; we can surprise the big teams with our high energy."

Goalkeepers: Volkan Demirel (Fenerbahçe SK), Sinan Bolat (R. Standard de Liège), Hakan Arıkan (Mersin İdman Yurdu).

Defenders: Gökhan Gönül (Fenerbahçe SK), Sabri Sarıoğlu (Galatasaray AŞ), Serkan Balcı (Trabzonspor AŞ), Gökhan Zan (Galatasaray AŞ), Servet Çetin (Galatasaray AŞ), Egemen Korkmaz (Beşiktaş JK), Giray Kaçar (Trabzonspor AŞ), Ömer Toprak (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Hakan Balta (Galatasaray AŞ), İsmail Köybaşı (Beşiktaş JK).

Midfielders: Hamit Altıntop (Real Madrid CF), Mehmet Ekici (SV Werder Bremen), Selçuk İnan (Galatasaray AŞ), Selçuk Şahin (Fenerbahçe SK), Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK), Mehmet Topal (Valencia CF), Yekta Kurtuluş (Galatasaray AŞ), Mehmet Aurélio (Beşiktaş JK), Arda Turan (Club Atlético de Madrid).

Forwards: Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ), Mevlüt Erdinç (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Kazım Kazım (Galatasaray AŞ), Umut Bulut (Toulouse FC), Tunay Torun (Hertha BSC Berlin), Gökhan Töre (Hamburger SV).

Belgium (12pts)
Georges Leekens described his side's final two group games as "all or nothing" as Belgium look to claw their way back into contention for second place. Sitting two points behind Turkey they will need to win both matches to give themselves a chance of claiming a play-off spot.

"It is not in our own hands anymore, and we must take it step by step, starting with a victory against Kazakhstan," said the Red Devils coach, who has been hit by a triple injury blow. Jelle Vossen (ankle) and David Hubert (stomach) have been forced to withdraw, while Marvin Ogunjimi (knee) is struggling to be fit.

Goalkeepers: Simon Mignolet (Sunderland AFC), Thibaut Courtois (Club Atlético de Madrid), Olivier Renard (KV Mechelen).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (AFC Ajax), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard de Liège), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC), Nicolas Lombaerts (FC Zenit Saint Petersburg), Sébastien Pocognoli (R. Standard de Liège), Daniel Van Buyten (FC Bayern München), Jan Vertonghen (AFC Ajax).

Midfielders: Moussa Dembélé (Fulham FC), Steven Defour (FC Porto), Marouane Fellaini (Everton FC), Eden Hazard (LOSC Lille Métropole), David Hubert (KRC Genk)*, Dries Mertens (PSV Eindhoven), Vadis Odjidja (Club Brugge KV), Timmy Simons (1. FC Nürnberg), Axel Witsel (SL Benfica), Gaby Mudingayi (Bologna FC)**.

Forwards: Igor De Camargo (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC), Marvin Ogunjimi (KRC Genk), Björn Vleminckx (Club Brugge KV), Jelle Vossen (KRC Genk)*.

*Withdrawn
**Called up

Austria (8pts)
Caretaker coach Willibald Ruttensteiner has recalled 1. FSV Mainz 05 midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz following a two-year absence from the national team. "Ivanschitz is one of the 23 best players Austria has," said Ruttensteiner. Philipp Hosiner and Jörg Siebenhandl receive international recognition for the first time, while Manuel Weber, Stefan Kulovits, Christopher Dibon and Daniel Royer are rested ahead of the Under-21 qualifiers. "[Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan] deserve respect and outstanding commitment fom us," added Ruttensteiner.

Goalkeepers: Robert Almer (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Pascal Grünwald (FK Austria Wien), Jörg Siebenhandl (SC Wiener Neustadt).

Defenders: Ekrem Dağ (Beşiktaş JK), Aleksandar Dragović (FC Basel 1893), Christian Fuchs (FC Schalke 04), Florian Klein (FK Austria Wien), Manuel Ortlechner (FK Austria Wien), Emanuel Pogatetz (Hannover 96)*, Sebastian Prödl (SV Werder Bremen), Franz Schiemer (FC Salzburg).

Midfielders: David Alaba (FC Bayern München), Julian Baumgartlinger (1. FSV Mainz 05), Martin Harnik (VfB Stuttgart)*, Andreas Ivanschitz (1. FSV Mainz 05), Jakob Jantscher (FC Salzburg), Zlatko Junuzović (FK Austria Wien), Paul Scharner (West Bromwich Albion FC), Christopher Trimmel (SK Rapid Wien), Daniel Royer (Hannover 96)**.

Forwards: Marko Arnautović (SV Werder Bremen), Philipp Hosiner (FC Admira Wacker Mödling), Marc Janko (FC Twente), Stefan Maierhofer (FC Salzburg).

*Withdrawn
**Called up

Azerbaijan (7pts)
The return of defender Vladimir Levin and forward Vüqar Nadirov are the only changes to Berti Vogts' 25-man squad for Azerbaijan's final two qualifying matches. Both missed September's games - a 1-1 draw with Belgium and a 3-2 victory against Kazakhstan - due to injury. The squad met up on 1 October, but domestic commitments mean FC Volga Nizhny Novgorod forward Vagif Javadov and Ufuk Budak of SC Freiburg arrived late.

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

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

Midfielders: Aleksandr Chertoganov (Qäbälä FK), Mahir Shukurov (Qäbälä FK), 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), Vüqar Nadirov (Qarabağ FK), Elshan Mammadov (Olimpik-Şüvälan PFK), Murad Huseynov (Qäbälä FK).

Kazakhstan (3pts)
Kazakhstan coach Miroslav Beránek has opted to leave out goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin, who played in last month's defeats against Turkey and Azerbaijan. Mokin is replaced by 31-year-old Andrei Sidelnikov, who lost his place last year. Elsewhere in the squad, FC Alania Vladikavkaz midfielder Kazbek Geteriyev is absent with an Achilles injury, paving the way for Azat Nurgaliyev's inclusion.

Goalkeepers: Vladimir Loginovskiy (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Andrei Sidelnikov (FC Aktobe), Anton Tsirin (FC Irtysh Pavlodar).

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

Midfielders: Marat Khairullin (FC Aktobe), Heinrich Schmidtgal (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), Serikzhan Muzhikov (FC Zhetysu Taldykorgan), Ulan Konysbayev (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Marat Shakhmetov (FC Astana), Zhambyl Kukeyev (FC Shakhter Karagandy), Vitali Yevstigneev (FC Ordabasy Shymkent), Azat Nurgaliyev (FC Ordabasy Shymkent), Andrei Karpovich (FC Astana).

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

Last updated: 05/10/11 13.34CET

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