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Schweinsteiger fit to face Italy

Associated Press
Jun 26, 2012 at 06:21pm IST

Gdansk: Germany central midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be available to play in the European Championship semi-finals against Italy on Thursday.

Schweinsteiger has complained of a lingering ankle injury and had raised doubts about his fitness. But coach Joachim Loew said on Tuesday all of his players will be ready to face Italy in Warsaw, including Schweinsteiger.

"He is the team's emotional leader, he thinks a lot and asks a lot of questions, he has matured enormously over the past two years," Loew said. "He's very important for our team. We need him on the field."

Schweinsteiger fit to face Italy

Schweinsteiger has complained of a lingering ankle injury and had raised doubts about his fitness.

Schweinsteiger tore a ligament in his right ankle in February and said on Sunday the injury hadn't healed properly. The Bayern Munich player has started all four matches and made some uncharacteristic bad passes in the quarterfinal against Greece.

"Bastian is self-critical, he knows what his mistakes were and they won't happen again," Loew said.

Loew, who has tinkered with his lineup and changed the three-man forward line in the 4-2 win over Greece, did not rule out another reshuffle.

"Italy is a completely different caliber. I may change one or two things," Loew said. As always, Loew revealed no details. Veteran striker Miroslav Klose started in favor of Mario Gomez against Greece. Klose said Tuesday he expected to play against Italy.

Loew also used Marco Reus and Andre Schuerrle as his attacking midfielders, replacing Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski, respectively. "We have very ambitious players and even those who do not play bring a lot of quality to training," said Loew, who likes to remain unpredictable when it comes to Germany's lineups.

"But our philosophy, our game will not change," he said.

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