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Dublin: 10°C Friday 25 September 2020

Mesut Özil to miss Germany-Ireland clash, ruled out for 10-12 weeks

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Marco Reus among others have already been ruled out of the game.

Özil has scored 18 goals in 62 appearances for Germany.
Özil has scored 18 goals in 62 appearances for Germany.

Updated at 15.45

GERMANY HAVE BEEN dealt another injury blow with news that midfielder Mesut Özil has been ruled out of the side’s upcoming games against Poland and Ireland.

A tweet from the official account of the German football team today confirmed that the Arsenal star was expected to miss 10-12 weeks in total, owing to a ligament tear in the left knee.

It is further bad news for the reigning world champions, who are already without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Mario Gómez, Benedikt Höwedes and Marco Reus for the games.

The Irish team have injury problems themselves ahead of the clash, with Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Shay Given all expected to miss the match through injury.

Özil also misses a qualifier against minnows Gibraltar in Nuremberg on November 14, plus a friendly against European champions Spain on November 18.

The player is added to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s mounting injury list and will miss the rest of the Gunners’ Champions League group stage matches, including the key Group D showdown at home to Borussia Dortmund on 26 November.

Chelsea forward André Schürrle also missed training on Wednesday with a muscular problem, but is expected to be fit.

“Things look good for Andre, he received some treatment on Tuesday, so it’s normal that he sat out training the day after,” said team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Julian Draxler, of Schalke, is expected to join the squad once he recovers from illness.

Even without Özil, coach Joachim Löw has targeted six points from their games against Poland and Ireland to give the Germans control of Group D after they beat Scotland 2-1 in their opening match.

Bierhoff said Germany are rebuilding after established stars Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose all retired in the wake of their World Cup triumph in Brazil in July.

“We want to win both games and give ourselves a bit of a cushion in the qualifiers,” added Bierhoff.

“It’s going to be a tough October with two difficult games.

“We have to introduce several new players into the squad because of injuries and a few retirements.

“The team will have a different look to how it was two months ago.”

With Schweinsteiger injured, Germany will be captained by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the next two games.

“These are key games for us, it is important to keep playing well after the win over Scotland,” said Neuer, of Bayern Munich.

Löw is set to hand a first cap to Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Karim Bellarabi, who has opted to play for Germany over Morocco, where his mother was born, on the back of several impressive displays in the Bundesliga.

Additional reporting by AFP

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Paul Fennessy

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