Germany coach Joachim Low has named his squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ warm-ups against England and Italy, with Miroslav Klose making a return from injury but Bastian Schweinsteiger missing out.
Klose, the veteran 35-year-old Lazio striker, returns to national duty after being unavailable for last month's closing FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden. He now has a chance to become Germany's all-time leading goalscorer, currently sharing the benchmark of 68 goals with Gerd Muller.
Bayern Munich midfielder Schweinsteiger is out of contention as he requires further surgery on his problem right ankle. Low's squad features a first call-up for Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
The 33-year-old has pressed home his claim for inclusion thanks to some fine performances for Dortmund in both the Bundesliga and in Europe, where he helped his side make it to the Champions League final last season. "We've followed with interest his constant results with Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League," explained Low, who emphasised that Bayern's Manuel Neuer remained his No1 keeper.
Despite Schweinsteiger's absence, Bayern have six of their players on the list including captain Philipp Lahm. Arsenal are doubly represented through Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker, while there is one other player from the Premier League in Andre Schuerrle. The Chelsea winger produced a second-half hat-trick in Germany's 5-2 comeback win against Sweden in their final qualifier last month.
Germany, who went through qualifying unbeaten to secure their berth in Brazil, face Italy in Milan on 15 November followed by England at Wembley four days later. The Italy game will be Low's 100th in charge of Germany.
Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Hamburg), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (Hamburg)
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/ESP), Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller (both Bayern Munich), Mesut Özil (Arsenal/ENG), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sidney Sam (Bayer Leverkusen), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea/ENG)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA), Max Kruse (Borussia Moenchengladbach)