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Germany "need" Schweinsteiger to face Italy: Ozil

Germany play Italy in the semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday

AFP, Monday 25 Jun 2012
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Germany's national soccer player Bastian Schweinsteiger warms up during a training session before their Euro 2012 soccer match against Italy in Gdansk June 25, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS)
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Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger looks set to be given the all-clear for Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy with midfield partner Mesut Ozil insisting the Germans "need him".

The 27-year-old Schweinsteiger has been struggling to recover from an ankle injury and was below-par in Friday's 4-2 win over Greece, but as the Germans' chief playmaker, he is a key part of their bid to win Euro 2012.

Germany play Italy in the semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday and the Bayern Munich star is expected to be fit to face the Azzurri having taken full part in team training on Monday and appeared to have no problems sprinting.

"He has problems with the ankle, which has been treated intensively in the last few days, we assume he will be fit to play," said Germany's goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke.

Having torn ankle ligaments in February, Schweinsteiger admitted Sunday the joint has still not fully recovered, but Ozil said he is needed against the Azzurri.

"We need Schweinsteiger, He is a class player and one of our leaders," said Real Madrid star Ozil after Schweinsteiger set up both Germany's goals in their 2-1 win over Holland in their second group match.

"He has been injured, but I think he is on a good track.

"You could see how important he is for the team in our match against Holland (a 2-1 victory in the group stage), I am keeping my fingers crossed he will play."

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