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Giulia Gwinn returns to Germany’s women squad after injury

DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund - DFB-Frauen (German Women's national team)

After around year out due to tearing her ACL, Giulia Gwinn is back in Germany women’s squad. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has named the FC Bayern defender in her squad of 24 players for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Israel on Thursday, 21st October (18:00 CEST) and Tuesday, 26th October (16:05 CEST). As well as Gwinn, Felicitas Rauch, Almuth Schult (both VfL Wolfsburg) and Leonie Maier (Everton) have all returned to the squad.

Voss-Tecklenburg is without a number of players due to injury, with Paulina Krumbiegel (TSG Hoffenheim), Alexandra Popp, Pia Wolter, Sara Doorsoun (all VfL Wolfsburg), Marina Hegering, Klara Bühl, Sydney Lohmann (all FC Bayern) and Nicole Anyomi (Eintracht Frankfurt) all unavailable for selection.

Germany’s qualification campaign for the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia began with two convincing victories over Bulgaria (7-0) and Serbia (5-1). Israel, meanwhile, were beaten 4-0 by Portugal in their opening game in September. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg stated: “Our aim is to win both games by being dominant from the first whistle. We didn’t manage that from the start of the first two matches, so we want to improve in this regard and be switched on from kick off.”

The two sides have never faced before in an international fixture. Voss-Tecklenburg added: “Games against Israel will always mean something different for German teams. For us, both games are special – and I really mean that – because they are about more than just sport. It will be a memorable trip there, especially for those who have never been to Israel before. Our focus is on qualifying for the World Cup, but we will still look to learn about cultural, historical and sociopolitical things while there.” A visit to Israel’s official memorial site to the victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, is already planned.

The other teams in Group H alongside Israel, Serbia and Bulgaria are Turkey and Portugal. The nine group winners will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the second-placed teams will take part in play-offs for two more spots.