Loew names Podolski in German squad for World Cup qualifiers

Loew names Podolski in German squad for World Cup qualifiers Frankfurt - Lukas Podolski returns to the Germany set-up for upcoming qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Wales after being named Thursday in coach Joachim Loew's 23-man squad.

Arne Friedrich of Bundesliga leaders Hertha Berlin and SV Hamburg's Marcell Jansen also return while Rene Adler, Tim Wiese and Robert Enke will battle it out for the goalkeeping position.

VfL Wolfsburg's Marcel Schaefer and Hoffenheim's Andreas Beck retain their places in the German squad ahead of the matches against Liechtenstein in Leipzig on March 28 and Wales in Cardiff four days later.

"It is really pleasing that Lukas is again playing a constructive role with Bayern," said Loew.

"But even if he wasn't, we would have invited him along for the two internationals because we have always said that as soon as Lukas finds his training rhythm, he's a valuable striker for us, who we have great faith in."

Podolski was left out of Loew's squad for the February friendly against Norway, which Germany surprisingly lost 1-0.

However, there is no place for Werder Bremen midfielder Mesut Ozil, who returns to the Under-21 set-up after his brief appearance against Norway.

Hamburg's Piotr Trochowksi, meanwhile, gets a call despite struggling with slight bruising.

"We will definitely remain in contact with Hamburg over the weekend and will keep ourselves informed about his fitness," said Loew. (dpa)