Bender brothers bid for Germany place
The Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund midfielders used to play together at 1860 Munich, but since their paths separated, they have never since played in the same team.
That could change this weekend in Basel when the twins are likely to benefit from the lack of Bayern Munich players in the Germany squad at this stage of preparations for EURO 2012 by lining up in Joachim Low's midfield.
The Swiss may complain of double vision, but the pair hope Low keeps his focus to recognise what they can bring to his squad. "We will try to recommend ourselves so we both travel to the European Championships," said Lars, who has been capped four times by Germany. "Everybody here has a chance of going to the tournament and we want to take that."
Sven, who made his debut against Australia last March, is one of the most likely candidates to be scratched from Low's current 27-man squad when the Germany coach must hand in his 23-man selection to UEFA on 29 May.
However, he said at a press conference today that he would not have any issues about being included if it meant his brother missed out. "There is a battle for places and nobody is doing anybody any favours, for sure," he said. "Everybody has the motivation to be included, but we are also fair sportsmen and are all pulling in the same direction."
Whether that direction is towards Poland and Ukraine will not be determined exclusively by Saturday's friendly international, though, according to Lars. "It is a really important game, but it is only an addition (to training)," Lars said. "The coach will have already considered things in the many training sessions so far. We just have to try and use every training session and every game to recommend ourselves."
While the Benders are likely to start on Saturday, the inclusion of Miroslav Klose remains in doubt after he was once again unable to train today due to a back problem. That leaves only Cacau as a recognised striker in Low's squad with Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez due to link up with the squad on Sunday and Lukas Podolski preferred out wide on the left.