Few regulars available for Germany-Poland friendly
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew will get a chance to test some young players when his team faces Poland in a World Cup warm-up match on Tuesday.
Loew will cut several players from his preliminary 30-man squad after the match and the trimmed group will travel to a training camp in Italy ahead of the World Cup. Loew will then announce the final 23-man squad.
Because of various club commitments, neither Germany nor Poland will be up to full strength for Tuesday’s match in Hamburg.
Here are five things to know about the friendly:
The German Cup final on Saturday in Berlin leaves both Germany and Poland without their top stars. None have been called by either nation and Germany will be without Bayern players as Manuel Neuer, captain Philipp Lahm and forward Thomas Mueller, and Dortmund defender Mats Hummel.
Only 10 of 30 players named in Germany’s preliminary World Cup squad are available for the friendly.
Poland, which has not qualified for the World Cup, will be without striker Robert Lewandowski, who earned the Bundesliga’s top scorer honors with 20 goals for Dortmund before moving to Bayern next season.
Germany has one only experienced striker in Loew’s preliminary World Cup squad, but Miroslav Klose will have turned 36 by the time the tournament in Brazil starts and he has been hampered by injuries through the season with Lazio.
The only other central striker in Loew’s squad is Hoffenheim’s Kevin Volland, who still has to make his debut and is likely to play against Poland. This could be his chance to secure a ticket to Brazil.
“I feel very comfortable in the position of central striker, I am robust, but I can also hold the ball and pass,” said Volland, who scored 11 goals in the Bundesliga. “But I am versatile, I can also play in other positions.”
Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira made his return over the weekend, starting his first match after sitting out six months with a knee injury.
Germany assistant Hansi Flick said Monday that Khedira’s comeback was “on schedule.”
“Hopefully he will play next weekend, too, and maybe in the Champions League semifinal as well,” Flick said.
A healthy Khedira is a key player in Germany’s defensive midfield but Loew told Monday’s Kicker: “I have to see how he looks during training camp.”
Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger limped off the field in the final match of the season and has been diagnosed with a knee irritation. Schweinsteiger’s season had been marred by an ankle injury.
He could be doubtful for the cup final but Flick was optimistic.
“It doesn’t look that bad. I think he will be able to play,” Flick said. “We are in touch with Bayern’s doctors and he is in good hands.”
POLAND LOOKING AHEAD:
For Poland coach Adam Nawalka the match has little meaning, especially without some of his best players. But Nawalka is looking beyond the World Cup.
“This will be a test for the Euro qualifying,” Nawalka said.
Germany travels to Warsaw in October for a Euro 2016 qualifying match.