Joachim Loew confirms Bastian Schweinsteiger will start against France

Marseille, July 7: Germany manager Joachim Loew has clarified that captain Bastian Schweinsteiger will start in the crucial semi-final game against France tonight (July 8).

Schweinsteiger who was suffering from a very minor injury he suffered during the penalty shoot-out against Italy in the quarter-final, has been declared fully fit and is all ready to lead his team from the front.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (white) netting the winner against Ukraine

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Joachim Loew said: "I have the team in my head and Bastian Schweinsteiger will definitely start.

"I always said that if he trains 100 per cent without complaints then he will play.

"He trained this morning and had no complaints. The injury is cured and he showed against Italy he's got the strength to play from the start, and I believe he's very, very important, particularly in such a game - his experience is very valuable.

"We have three players - Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels - who we have to replace, which is not easy, and this is why it is important that an experienced player like Bastian starts.

"If he's not strong enough to last the whole game, then we've got alternatives to come on later."

The German manager pointed out that in a high voltage match like today's which is against one of the best sides in Europe France, they would require the experience of Bastian Schweinsteiger.

He further added: "We're not playing against a team, we're playing against an entire country, so I wouldn't say we're favourites.

"Both teams have good quality and who shows this and makes fewer mistakes and takes their chances will win.

"We're going to be the toughest opponents France have had to face so far here. We're going to put everything into reaching the final."

The Manchester United midfielder has scored a crucial in the dyeing minutes in their group opener against Ukraine which sealed three points for them. He came as a substitute in this game.

But today with Sami Khedira being ruled out of the game with injury, Schweinsteiger's presence would help the World champion side's cause.

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