Low's young guns ready to fire against Sweden
Germany coach Joachim Low will cast an eye to the future in tomorrow's friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg with four uncapped players in his squad including Dortmund's highly-rated 18-year-old Mario Goetze.
The Germans will be without star midfielders Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and defender Philipp Lahm, who have been left out at their club's requests while striker Miroslav Klose is injured.
Goetze will be just 18 years and 167 days if he makes his debut against Sweden and comes to Scandinavia highly recommended. "He is one of the greatest talents we have ever had," said Germany's sport director Matthias Sammer.
The son of a university professor, Goetze, an attacking midfielder, only made his debut for Dortmund last season and has played in all bar one league match for the leaders this term, catching the eye on several occasions.
Likewise, Bayern's Mario Gomez has hit a rich vein of form, scoring twice in Bayern's 3-0 win over Nuremberg last Sunday and missed the chance to claim a hat-trick when he fired a late penalty over the bar.
"That is, of course, incredibly annoying," fumed Gomez on his arrival in Sweden having scored seven league goals this season. "Unfortunately, I shot too high and too strong. I wanted to score the goal and I was one hundred percent sure I would. Probably I was too confident. That was very, very stupid."
With Low's first-choice strikers Klose and Lukas Podolski left behind in Germany, Gomez has his chance to impress up front, while Sweden are without star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The AC Milan forward "got a few knocks in the match against Inter (Milan)" on Sunday said Sweden coach Eric Hamren. Ibrahimovic scored a penalty after just five minutes to seal the win for his new club AC Milan on Sunday in a prestigious 1-0 league victory over rivals Inter Milan.
"If Wednesday's game had been a qualifying match, he would have played," Hamren said. Sweden will also be without central defender Olof Mellberg, but Hamren is expected to field his other regular starters at Ullevi stadium.
Germany's record against Sweden is 14 wins from 33 meeting with 12 defeats and seven draws, but the Germans have won the last four meetings between the sides going back to 1990. Low has rested his midfield stars Ozil and Mueller, but Bastian Schweinsteiger, 26, is set to captain the side and he will win his 84th cap.