Gundogan returns for Germany after lengthy absence


Ilkay Gundogan could make his first Germany appearance for almost a year after being named in a 22-man squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Czech Republic and Northern Ireland.

The Manchester City midfielder has returned after a serious knee injury saw him miss Euro 2016 and Germany's 3-0 win over Norway in their first qualifier in Group C. 

Mario Gomez, Jerome Boateng and Sebastian Rudy are also included after missing that win through injury. 

Emre Can, Karim Bellarabi and Andre Schurrle miss out from the last squad, whereas Niklas Sule and Jonathan Tah drop into the Under-21s. 

Joachim Low's side host Czech Republic and Northern Ireland on October 8 and 11 respectively. 

''These two home matches are very important for us,'' said Low on the German national team's official website.

''We started well in Norway and we want to win the next matches and maintain the lead in our group.''

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim)

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Wolfsburg), Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen)