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‘I'm feeling fit’

Schweinsteiger fired up for Ireland clash

It could almost have been a Bayern training session on Tuesday in Frankfurt: there were ten players on the practice ground, namely Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Thomas Miller, Toni Kroos – and Benedikt Howedes, Heiko Westermann and Ron-Robert Zieler. The last three haven't suddenly switched clubs overnight, because this really was Germany's first training session of the international break. The rest of the squad were performing exercise or receiving treatment at the team hotel, meaning the workout on the field was remarkably similar to a Bayern session.

The Germans play Ireland in their third World Cup qualifier three days from now, before facing Sweden on 16 October. Schweinsteiger, sidelined with injury for his country's last three games, will captain the side on Friday in place of the suspended Lahm. “I boarded the plane with a big sense of anticipation and I'm really looking forward to these two matches," the midfielder said.

Bierhoff praises Bastian

“Bastian is a magnificent player with a big heart and real passion," enthused team manager Oliver Bierhoff, expressing admiration for the player's refusal to bow to pain at the end of last season, continuing to give his all for club and country: “He throws himself into it despite his incredible workload in recent years, and that's fantastic."