Germany midfielder Bastian
Schweinsteiger can expect to start in their Euro 2012 semi-final
against Italy on Thursday after receiving a glowing endorsement
from coach Joachim Low despite nursing a nagging ankle injury.
Schweinsteiger, who was sidelined for a couple of days
before returning to training on Monday, has yet to peak in this
tournament after being hampered by the injury picked up earlier
in the year and has struggled with his movement and speed.
"Obviously he can do things better than against Greece [in
the 4-2 quarter-final win] but we need Bastian," Low told
reporters on Tuesday.
"He is an emotional leader for us. He has matured
unbelievably in the last three years or so. I think it is
important for our team when Bastian Schweinsteiger is there."
The holding midfielder, who started all three group games
and the quarter-final, has said he would not object to sitting
on the bench after criticising his own performance so far.
Germany have won their last 15 competitive games and are
chasing their first trophy since 1996.
"Bastian has the stamina needed. Maybe he was lacking a bit
of mobility against Greece but it is extremely important for us
when Bastian is on the pitch."
"He is as confident as we need him to be," said Low.
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