Gundogan returns to German squad


October 01, 2016
Joachim Loew

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP):

Ilkay Gundogan will return for Germany after nearly a year out with various injuries for World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland.

The Manchester City midfielder last played for Germany in a friendly against France on November 13, the night of multiple attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Gundogan missed the European Championship in France.

Striker Mario Gomez and defender Jerome Boateng are also back after injuries at the European Championship.

Germany began the defence of their World Cup title with a 3-0 win in Norway. The team plays the Czechs in Hamburg on October 8, and Northern Ireland three days later in Hannover.

Germany are the favourites to win Group C and qualify directly for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

"These two home matches are very important for us," Germany coach Joachim Loew said yesterday. "We started well in Norway, and we wanted to win the next matches and maintain the lead in our group."

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