Loew to stick with Bayern trio
Joachim Loew, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger (AFP)
Santo Andre - Joachim Loew has hinted he will stick with a Bayern Munich-based midfield for Monday's last 16 World Cup clash against Algeria after Bastian Schweinsteiger's full return impressed the Germany coach.
The Germans finished top of Group G by grinding out a 1-0 win over the USA on Thursday with Thomas Mueller's winner leaving him joint top-scorer with four goals.
The victory pits the Germans against Algeria in Porto Alegre on Monday for a place in the Rio de Janeiro quarter-final against Nigeria or France next Friday.
Loew was particularly delighted with Schweinsteiger's return to the starting line-up alongside captain Philipp Lahm in Germany's defensive midfield.
The Bayern pair linked well with their club team-mate Toni Kroos in the attacking midfield role against the Stars and Stripes.
"Schweinsteiger was very strong, all things considered," said Loew, who kept Sami Khedira on the bench against the USA.
"The midfield with Kroos, Schweinsteiger and Lahm was very good, always ready to play the ball and varied the tactics well."
Schweinsteiger spent the opening two World Cup games on the bench after suffering from tendinitis of the knee at the end of the season.
Having played for 76 minutes against the USA, Schweinsteiger made way for Bayern team-mate Mario Goetze as Loew boosted his attack in the closing stages.
While Lahm said he would welcome Schweinsteiger again as his midfield partner, even Khedira praised his rival's performance in the Number Six position.
"Basti is getting fitter all the time and had a strong match," said Real Madrid's Khedira.
"I am in a good position with the coach and my spell on the bench did me good with regards to the rest of the tournament.
"We can also play well together," he added, with a clear hint in Loew's direction, as Lahm could return to his customary right-back position.