Germany captain Schweinsteiger to start v Georgia

Reuters , Saturday 28 Mar 2015

Schweinsteiger has yet to feature after nursing a long-time injury that caused him to miss much of the first half of the season

Germany
Germany's national soccer player Bastian Schweinsteiger smiles during a training session in Frankfurt March 27, 2015, for their Euro 2016 qualifier away to Georgia on Sunday (Photo: Reuters)

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will make his first start for Germany since the World Cup final last year when his team take on Georgia in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday, coach Joachim Loew said.

Schweinsteiger, who took over from Philipp Lahm as skipper following the team's World Cup triumph in Brazil last year, has yet to feature after nursing a long-time injury that caused him to miss much of the first half of the season.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger will start tomorrow. Our overall formation will be an attacking one," the coach told reporters on Saturday after resting Schweinsteiger for the 2-2 friendly draw against Australia on Wednesday.

"We need players who will box the opponents in their own half, who can operate up front. The concept will be an attacking one."

The Germans, who are three points behind Group D leaders Poland, level with Ireland and Scotland, are eager to get their qualification back on track.

They also struggled to draw with Asian champions Australia, although Loew did rest half a dozen regulars.

"With all due respect for our opponents, we will take the three points tomorrow with us," Loew said.

"We have to light the fire tomorrow to win the three points. We know how important this is and we know of our current situation. I am convinced we can win it.

"Georgia have not as many points as they may have expected. Defensively they can operate very well."

Loew has been struggling with his back line and has yet to decide whether to use a three-man defence which did not work well against Australia or go with a four.

"We will play various systems until the Euro," he said. "What is more important is the good division of space and to remain flexible.

"For Georgia it may be the game of the decade and the stadium is sold out. We expect a fiery atmosphere," Loew added.

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