Poland: Team News

Having watched the Austria game for a third time this afternoon, I thought I’d keep things up to date with the latest team news for the friendly international against Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland in Danzig/Gdańsk on Tuesday.

As expected, Nationaltrainer Jogi Löw has decided to rest a number of the players who starred in Friday’s 6-2 thumping of the Ösis – namely Mesut Özil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer – while calling up Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s Lars Bender into what is now a nineteen-man squad. Bender’s call-up is great news for the family, given that his twin brother Sven had to pull out of the squad through injury; the Bender-Zwillinge have lined up together for Germany at youth level, so it should be only a matter of time before they become the first set of twins to appear in the same eleven for the Nationalmannschaft at senior level.

With first-choice Torhuter Manuel Neuer being rested for Tuesday’s friendly, SV Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese has been named to start, and if things go to plan on the pitch Hannover 96’s Ron-Robert Zieler may well be given the opportunity to win his first international cap. Wiese will be looking to firm up his position as Neuer’s number two by turning in a solid performance, especially with a number of talented younger ‘keepers waiting in the wings.

In defence there are likely to be a number of changes in personnel, with only skipper Philipp Lahm being a certainty to start. According to the latest reports Arsenal’s new signing Per Mertesacker is due to make the starting line-up in what would be his first game in national colours since March, and with Benedikt Höwedes still doubtful it should be a case of picking two from Holger Badstuber, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer and Christian Träsch. I fancy Dortmund youngster Schmelzer to start at left-back, with Lahm out on the right and Mertesacker pairing up with Hummels in the centre.

With Schweinsteiger and Özil being released from the squad, there is plenty of scope for change in midfield. Defensively, I’d have Toni Kroos switch to the slightly advanced position alongside Leverkusen skipper Simon Rolfes, while the creative trio would consist of Mario Götze in the “Özil” position, Thomas Müller on the right and André Schürrle on the left – though Lukas Podolski may well be given the opportunity to take to the field against the country of his birth.

I’d expect Miroslav Klose to make his 112th international appearance as the sole man up front; like Podolski, Polish-born Klose would be making his first appearance against Poland in Poland. Miro will be looking to add to his goal tally to get closer to Gerd Müller’s thirty-seven year record, but will probably be substituted at some point to give Cacau a run out.

My starting eleven for Tuesday would be:

Wiese – Schmelzer, Hummels, Mertesacker, Lahm – Rolfes, Kroos – Schürrle (Podolski), Götze, Müller – Klose

Poland: Team News
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