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World Cup qualifying preview: Germany v Faroe Islands

6 September 2012 09:49

Marco Reus looms as a key player for Germany as they begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against the Faroe Islands.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder has impressed for new club Borussia Dortmund in their opening two matches of the Bundesliga, having joined the reigning champions from Moenchengladbach during the European summer transfer window.

Germany head coach Joachim Loew was also pleased with Reus' performances at Euro 2012 and has claimed the young attacker could start against the Faroe Islands on Friday ahead of more established international players Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller.

"The European Championships showed how much international quality he has," Loew said.

Reus played in Germany's quarter-final victory and semi-final defeat at Euro 2012, scoring a goal in the 4-2 triumph over Greece.

Loew has selected just one centre forward (Lazio's Miroslav Klose) in his squad for the qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Austria (Tuesday), and Reus looks poised to be given one of the attacking midfield berths in Germany's regular 4-2-3-1 formation.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is one key player Loew will have to do without, as the Bayern Munich midfielder is struggling with an ankle injury.

That could open the door for Toni Kroos or Lars Bender to be given a start alongside Sami Khedira at the base of Germany's midfield quintet.

"I have spoken with Bastian and we have come to the understanding that he still needs some time to get back into training and match rhythm," Loew said.

"Our plan for Bastian Schweinsteiger is laid around the two matches in October against Ireland and Sweden."

Germany should have few issues in Hannover against the Faroe Islands, who are ranked 153rd in the world by FIFA.

The small Nordic nation, which is directly north of Scotland, have not won since June 2011 when they defeated Estonia 2-0.

Coached by former Danish international Lars Olsen, the Faroe Islands are on a four-game losing streak, including a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Iceland in August.

Germany's last match was also a disappointment as Loew's side lost 3-1 at home to Argentina.

Having made the semi-finals of Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, Germany are poised to be one of the main contenders in Brazil in two years and Loew will hope early success against the Faroe Islands and Austria will keep the fans happy as they hope for their country's first major trophy since the 1996 European Championships.

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