Far-sighted Germans are going to Russia with an experimental squad. Stars have been provided rest. But the new look Germany is ready to face challenges.
Injuries to many stars and the desire to provide much-needed rest to some others have forced World Cup winners Germany to embark on their Russian sojourn for the Confederations Cup with a squad that looks fresh.
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Germany would also like to experiment with many as they would be defending their title in Russia itself next year. It comes as no surprise that the far-sighted Germans are coming to Russia with an experimental squad.
Taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann, Joaquin Loew has turned out to be a better tactician than his master. Loew prepared the squad from 2006 to eventually win the World Cup in 2014. Remember how they slammed Brazil 7-1 that too in Brazil.
No matter how they fare here, the experience for the players and the opportunity for Loew to assess them would be splendid.
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Lars Stindl (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Amin Younes (Ajax Amsterdam), Diego Demme (Leipzig) and players Kerem Demirbay and Sandro Wagner (both Hoffenheim) are the new names in coach Joaquim Loew’s squad. With No 1 custodian and the world’s best goalkeeper Manuel Neuer nursing a broken foot, Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was also called up and could make his German debut.
Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Mesut Ozil were all given a much-needed break from national duty with Loew possibly intending to keep fit and raring to go in Russia in the summer of 2018. Marcus Reus, who missed the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship, due to injuries, once again was sidelined due to injury.
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Consequently, the Die Mannschaft (The Team) have only three members of the 2014 World Cup winning squad – Matthias Ginter, Julian Draxler and Shkodran Mustafi – to fall back on for experience though none of them figured in the playing eleven in Brazil.
Germany opens its campaign against Australia in Sochi on June 19, and have Chile and Cameroon also as their Group B opponents.
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Ranked No 3 on the FIFA list, apart from surprises which is the essence of soccer, Germany will have to overcome the No 4 ranked Chile who won back-to-back Copa America titles defeating Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Portugal too are there and make their debut as European champions. The two will figure in this event for the first time.
If rankings hold good, then Germany could face either of these two in the final on July 2.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Roma), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Niklas Suele (Hoffenheim). Midfielders: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Kerem Demirbay (Hoffenheim), Diego Demme (Leipzig), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Lars Stindl (Borussia Moenchengladbach). Forwards: Timo Werner (Leipzig), Sandro Wagner (Hoffenheim), Amin Younes (Ajax Amsterdam).
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