A new season, a new start, and I’m back and raring to go again. After the highs and lows of Euro 2012, the Nationalmannschaft are back in action with what looks like a mouth-watering early season fixture against Argentina on the 15th of August in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank-Arena – better known to all of us purists as the Waldstadion.
Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw has named a squad of nineteen for this prestige encounter, naming seventeen of the twenty-three man squad and bringing in two of those who missed the final cut – BVB’s Sven Bender and Schalke 04 youngster Julian Draxler.
Five of the more senior pros are rested: skipper Philipp Lahm is awaiting the birth of his second child, Mario Gómez is injured and Bastian Schweinsteiger is still working his way back to full fitness, while Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have been omitted on account of the English premiership starting the weekend after the match in Frankfurt. The sixth man, ‘keeper Tim Wiese, is also left out – with no massive hope of a return to the squad as the coach looks towards the World Cup in 2014 and building a younger squad.
So, here’s the nineteen:
Manuel Neuer (Bayern München, 31 Apps/0 Goals)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 1/0)
Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München, 25/1)
Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 9/1)
Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 25/0)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 8/0)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 19/1)
Marcel Schmelzer (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 6/0)
Sven Bender (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 2/0)
Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04, 1/0)
Mario Götze (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 15/2)
İlkay Gündoğan (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 2/0)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 32/2)
Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München, 30/2)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 32/10)
Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF, 38/9)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 8/2)
André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 16/7)
Miroslav Klose (SS Lazio, 121/64)
Germany’s record against the Argentinians is not particularly stellar: the two sides have met on nineteen occasions, with the Mannschaft achieving six victories to the Albiceleste’s eight. The last encounter was of course at the World Cup in 2010, when Diego Maradona’s side were destroyed 4-0 in what was one of the most memorable matches in the Löw era.
With Lahm not in the squad, veteran striker Miroslav Klose looks set to lead the team out on what will be his 122nd appearance in the Nationaltrikot.