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Ballack and Frings back for WCup clashes

3 October 2008 15:30

STUTTGART, Germany (AFP) - Captain Michael Ballack and veteran midfielder Torsten Frings are back in Germany coach Joachim Loew's squad named Friday for the World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales.

Chelsea midfielder Ballack and Werder Bremen's Frings both missed Germany's opening qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Finland last month.

Frings broke his nose playing basketball while Ballack withdrew with a foot injury, but both are back as Germany look to consolidate their place at the top of Group Four having beaten Liechtenstein 6-0 and drawn 3-3 in Helsinki.

Germany play Russia in Dortmund on Saturday October 11 and Wales in Moenchengladbach on October 15.

Five players have been brought back by Loew including goal-keeper Rene Adler, defender Arne Friedrich as well as midfielders Ballack, Frings and Schalke 04's Jermaine Jones.

Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrick Helmes has also been added having scored seven goals in six games.

"We expect big things of Patrick Helmes in the future," said Loew.

"He has proved what potential he has and has been impressive for his club in recent weeks.

"Likewise Jermaine is physically very strong at present and we have paid close attention to him."

As well as Leverkusen's Adler and Hanover's Robert Enke, Loew has named Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese.

There is no place in the squad for Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder who has struggled to make the Spanish giant's first-team this season.

"We had a good discussion and he will play a part in our planning," said Loew.

"But we agreed that he is to train hard and win his place back at Real.

"We have three good alternatives for the two centre-back positions in Per Mertesacker, Heiko Westermann and Serdar Tasci."

Squad

Goalkeepers: Robert Enke (Hanover), Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea ENG), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich)

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Wednesday 22 October

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