Low picks familiar faces for Argentina
Germany coach Joachim Low has picked a squad containing 17 players he took to Euro 2012 for next week's friendly against Argentina, with Dortmund's Sven Bender and Schalke's Julian Draxler the only additions.
Low will have to do without Bayern Munich trio Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez and Philipp Lahm for the match at Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena.
Schweinsteiger is still recovering from sprained ligaments, Gomez underwent ankle surgery on Tuesday and Germany skipper Philipp Lahm has been omitted as his wife is due to give birth next week.
"Philipp by all means wanted to play. But after a lengthy phone call I have made a decision considering his private situation," Low said on the DFB's official website.
With the English Premier League starting only three days after the Argentina, Low has also opted to leave out Arsenal duo Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski.
"The start of the EPL will be only three days after our match in Frankfurt," Low said. "Thus it is important for Per, who has been injured for a long time, and Lukas, who as a new arrival is fighting for his place on the team, to prepare for the start of the season in London."
One player likely to feel more aggrieved by his omission is Hoffeheim goalkeeper Tim Wiese. The 30-year-old has been told by goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke and assistant coach Hansi Flick that Germany will bank on younger keepers for their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, though Kopke has said there may still be an international future for Wiese.
The date of the Argentina match, which will see the South Americans attempt to exact revenge for their 4-0 thrashing by Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, has come under criticism - with Dortmund director of sport Michael Zorc calling it "nonsense" and his Bayern counterpart Matthias Sammer also speaking out against a friendly being played just acouple of days before the first DFB Pokal first round and ten days before the Bundesliga kicks off.