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Qualifying in focus for Bayern’s top stars

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Qualifying in focus for Bayern’s top stars

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:13 am


Despite Bayern’s five point lead in the league, achieved thanks to the Bundesliga’s best attacking and defensive records, a large proportion of the squad will turn their attention away from the club’s superb start to the season over the next week and a half. A total of ten stars have been called up for international duty in a busy programme of EURO 2008 and World Cup qualifying ties.

<b>Marcell Jansen, Lukas Podolski</b> and <b>Bastian Schweinsteiger</b> can help Germany seal a berth at the European Championships when Joachim Löw’s side travel to face Ireland on Saturday 13 October. The following Wednesday (17 October), the Germans entertain the Czech Republic at the Allianz Arena in the match which could settle first place in qualifying Group D.

<b>Comeback for Toni</b>

Jan Schlaudraff and injury victims Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose also travelled to Germany’s Berlin team base on Tuesday, as Löw summoned an expanded squad of 35 players for a pre-EURO get-together. The trio returned to Munich on Wednesday.

The 2006 World Cup host nation are all but assured of their place in Austria and Switzerland next summer, but the situation is considerably less clear-cut for <b>Franck Ribéry</b> and <b>Luca Toni</b> in Group B, where just two points cover Scotland, Italy and France at the head of the section. Toni is set to return for the <i>Azzurri</i> after pulling out of the previous international round in September, as the World Cup holders go in search of victories at home to Georgia and away to Scotland which would see them top the group.

<b>Wary Altintop</b>

An Italy win in Glasgow would benefit Ribéry, as France could then overtake the Scots, provided the <i>Equipe tricolore</i> defeat the struggling Faeroes and Lithuania.

Over in Group C, <b>Hamit Altintop</b> and his Turkey team-mates are hoping to take a giant stride towards a qualifying berth by defeating bottom team Moldova and leaders Greece. Turkey are handily placed in third, but Altintop issued a strong warning before the Moldova clash: “It’s an incredibly important match. We’ve unexpectedly dropped points against the smaller teams in the past.“

<b>World Cup action in South America</b>

The chances of <b>Daniel van Buyten</b> appearing at next summer’s EURO remain remote, as Belgium lie a lowly fifth in Group A with four matches remaining, eight points off the second qualifying berth currently occupied by Finland. The Red Devils urgently need a win at home to the Finns on Saturday to preserve their faint hopes, before Armenia visit Brussles the following Wednesday.

As normal, <b>Martin Demichelis</b> and <b>Lucio</b> will clock up the most air miles at the outset of the marathon South American qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Argentina and Demichelis host Chile on 13 October before visiting Venezuela on 16 October, while Lucio and Brazil travel to Colombia and entertain Ecuador, playing the day after the Argentines on each occasion. Ten nations contest a league format in South America, with the top four qualifying directly for the global finals and the fifth-placed finishers entering a play-off.

<b>Fürstner in Indian adventure</b>

The honour of the most unconventional trip belongs to greenhorn professional <b>Stephan Fürstner</b>. The 20-year-old, currently completing his national service, joins up with the German armed forces national team for the football tournament at the World Military Games from 10 to 20 October in Hyderabad, India. Germany’s first round opponents are Cameroon and North Korea, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.
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