CARDIFF (AFP) - Just when Wales thought another disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign could not get any worse came the news that Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be fit for Wednesday's match here at the Millennium Stadium.
Football superpower Germany, three-times winners of the World Cup, made it four wins from five matches, with one draw in their quest to reach the 2010 finals in South Africa, with a comfortable 4-0 victory over minnows Liechtenstein in Leipzig on Saturday.
Bayern Munich's Schweinsteiger scored Germany's third goal in that Group Four match but missed Monday's training session in order to help heal a groin injury.
"Bastian has a slight groin strain, but there is no danger of him missing the Wales game," said Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff.
"The fact he missed training was just a precautionary measure, he just needs another half day of rest."
And Hamburg winger Piotr Trochowski, who scored the winner against the Welsh in Germany's 1-0 World Cup qualifier win in October, is fit for selection having missed the Liechtenstein win with a knee injury.
Germany captain Michael Ballack, who plays his club football for Chelsea and so faces the likes of Wales internationals Craig Bellamy and Simon Davies in the Premier League, warned his compatriots to expect a sterner test in Cardiff than one they'd been presented with in Leipzing.
"That was not the strongest opponent we will face, but we did the job and we know Wales will be a different class." However, Wales captain Bellamy was not so sure.
The Manchester City striker was disconsolate after a 2-0 loss at home to Finland last weekend appeared to wreck Wales's chances of qualifying for their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.
"That was two poor sides trying to contest this game and neither of us have got a glimmer of hope of qualifying," Bellamy said.
"Where we go from here, God knows. We've just got a lot of games to play and get as many points as we can but same old story, we're out of the group."
But Wales manager John Toshack insisted all was not lost for his largely youthful and inexperienced side.
"We can pick ourselves up, we have done it in the past. We can recover from this with five games left," the former Liverpool and Wales striker said.
Wales are waiting to discover the full extent of injuries sustained by midfielders Davies and Jason Koumas.
Meanwhile West Ham defender James Collins, who went close to scoring against Finland with a diving header, will have his fitness assessed after what was his first match in five weeks following a hamstring problem.
|Coach: J. Toshack|
for S. Ricketts 54'
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