Germany to field future stars against Socceroos
This is the first time the two sides have met since Australia were hammered 4-0 in Durban last June in their opening FIFA World Cup™ match. The Socceroos went onto make a first-round exit while Germany finished third in South Africa.
The Germans are currently dominating their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier group, as they showed in Saturday's easy 4-0 win over minnows Kazakhstan. It was their fifth straight victory of the campaign and they have racked up 17 goals in the process.
With captain Philipp Lahm, defensive midfielder Sami Khedira and playmaker Mesut Ozil all rested, Low will be using the Australia match to blood fringe squad members. Both Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Mainz forward Andre Schuerrle will start against Australia.
"Mesut and Sami will not be featuring against Australia," explained Low. "That was previously arranged, as the pair have some hard games coming up with Real Madrid. Hummels and Schuerrle will start as they have impressed me in the Bundesliga."
With Lahm rested, Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to captain the side and striker Miroslav Klose, who scored twice on Saturday, should start up front as he looks to add to his 61 goals. Klose is just seven goals from equalling Gerd Mueller's tally of 68 goals in 62 games. Mueller's record as Germany's top-scorer has stood for more than 30 years.
Aussies' German connections
Australia's German coach Holger Osieck expects no favours from his home country as the Socceroos look for a first win against the hosts. "I am pretty sure they will take it very seriously because the public in Germany is very demanding," said the 62-year-old, who was assistant coach to Franz Beckenbauer when Germany won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
"Whenever the team plays an international game, the fans ask not only for a good result, but a good performance too. I know the mentality here. When you have some not-so-good performances, the media will be merciless. There will be no friendly aspect as far as they are concerned."
Osieck has named a strong squad featuring the bulk of the AFC Asian Cup squad, including stars Harry Kewell and Lucas Neill, who lost to Japan in the final. Everton midfield star Tim Cahill is ruled out with a foot injury.
Promising goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, who plays for German league leaders Dortmund, has been called up after an impressive club debut at Bayern Munich. "I am proud to represent my country in Germany, where I play football," said the 22-year-old Langerak, who will start on the bench behind veteran Mark Schwarzer. "It is just fantastic, we will work hard for this game. It won't be easy, but we hope to win."
Striker Nikita Rukavytsya, who plays for German second division side Hertha Berlin, returns to the squad after he was overlooked for January's Asian Cup.
Osieck says his team is not here just to make up the numbers. "In any game I play with my team, I want to get a result," said the 62-year-old. "We're not here just play and maybe have a good time. We want to perform, we want to win."
Only two A-League players were selected in the squad: Melbourne Victory striker Robbie Kruse and Brisbane Roar's championship-winning skipper Matt McKay.