Tomorrow the Mannschaft take on Sweden in Gothenburg in their final game of what has been a highly entertaining year. Remaining true to his policy of using friendly fixtures to blood younger players, Nationaltrainer Jogi Löw has pencilled in a number of debutants in what is an exciting-looking 20-man squad.
The new names include FSV Mainz 05 duo André Schürrle and Lewis Holtby – who should finally put to bed all of the stories about his possibly playing for England – and Borussia Dortmund’s young guns Mario Götze and Marcel Schmelzer. The eighteen year-old Götze is the youngest in a squad with an average age of just over twenty-three.
Bastian Schweinsteiger looks set to lead the side in what will be his 84th international in the absence of Philipp Lahm who is being rested, and Mario Gómez will be looking to extend what has been an incredibly burst of goalscoring form alongside either Cacau or Levekusen’s Patrick Helmes, making his first appearance after a spell out with injury. In goal, René Adler looks set to start in place of regular incumbent Manuel Neuer.
Germany have played the Swedes thirty-three times, winning fourteen, drawing seven and losing twelve. Most of these defeats occured in earlier meetings between the two sides, and apart from a penalty shootout defeat after a 1-1 draw in Berlin in 1988, the Nationalmannschaft has not been beaten by this opposition since a 3-1 defeat in Stockholm in 1978.
The Swedes were Jogi Löw’s first opponents as Nationaltrainer, and in what was a fairly straightforward match in Gelsenkirchen his side won 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Miroslav Klose and a Bernd Schneider strike. The coach will be hoping for a similar result in what will be his 62nd game in charge of the national team.
René Adler (TSV 04 Bayer Leverkusen)
Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04)
Andreas Beck (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)
Jérôme Boateng (Manchester City)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Per Mertesacker (SV Werder Bremen)
Marcel Schmelzer (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV)
Mario Götze (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Kevin Großkreutz (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Lewis Holtby (1. FSV Mainz 05)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF)
Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München)
Marko Marin (SV Werder Bremen)
André Schürrle (1. FSV Mainz 05)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München)
Christian Träsch (VfB Stuttgart)
Cacau (VfB Stuttgart)
Mario Gómez (FC Bayern München)
Patrick Helmes (TSV 04 Bayer Leverkusen)