Vol. 5 Num 994 Sun. March 18, 2007  

Kiessling in Germany squad

Germany coach Joachim Loew called up Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling on Friday as one of four uncapped players in his squad for their Euro 2008 Group D qualifier against Czech Republic on March 24.

Germany will be without Miroslav Klose, top scorer in the World Cup last year, because of suspension, while fellow strikers Mario Gomez, Mike Hanke, Oliver Neuville and Gerald Asamoah are all injured.

That leaves Loew with just three forwards with full international experience in Kevin Kuranyi, Lukas Podolski and Jan Schlaudraff.

Kiessling has scored five goals in the Bundesliga so far this season and has been tipped for a promotion from the Under-21s for some time.

The other new faces in the squad are Bayer defender Gonzalo Castro and VfB Stuttgart midfielder Roberto Hilbert.

Robert Enke, who has been in the squad before but has never played, is the third-choice goalkeeper behind Jens Lehmann and Timo Hildebrand.

Germany lead Group D with 10 points from four matches, with the Czechs behind them on goal difference.

Loew has decided not to call up Klose for a friendly against Denmark four days after the Czech game, even though his chief striker would be eligible. Klose missed Werder Bremen's UEFA Cup match in midweek because of injury and he remains doubtful for Sunday's Bundesliga game at home to Mainz.