Gomez should be fit to face Azerbaijan

BERLIN - Germany striker Mario Gomez, who protectively broke off training on Sunday ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan, should be fit to play, the German football federation (DFB) said.

"Tests showed there were no structural injuries, no tear or break. We expect he will be back training this evening," DFB spokesman Harald Stenger told reporters on Monday.

Gomez was on target in the 2-0 friendly win over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa on Saturday.

Germany lead Group Four with 19 points, one ahead of Russia, and are desperate to beat Azerbaijan in Hanover to ensure they stay top ahead of their crucial qualifier in Moscow in October. Their final match is at home to Finland.

The group winners automatically qualify for the finals.

"This match is hugely important and we have to secure those three points otherwise there is no point talking about Russia," said Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.

"We must improve from our match on Saturday."

Germany were at times impressive against South Africa but fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger also urged caution.

"Now we have the crunch games," he said. "Azerbaijan are not as weak as they are made out to be. We have to be extremely focused and an early goal would be worth gold."