Germany coach Low names inexperienced squad
Germany coach Joachim Low has named only eight members of his World Cup party in his squad to face Denmark on Wednesday.
Manuel Neuer, Tim Wiese, Jerome Boateng, Serdar Tasci, Toni Kroos, Marko Marin, Piotr Trochoski and Mario Gomez have all been included in an 18-man selection while Thomas Hitzlsperger, who was a surprise exclusion for the World Cup, returns.
Low has also named two new faces with Sascha Riether of Wolfsburg and Marco Reus of Borussia Monchengladbach in line for their international debuts in Copenhagen.
Hannover's Christian Schulz is also included for the first time since Joachim Low replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as Germany coach in 2006. The defender's last of three caps came in February 2005 against Argentina. By naming such an inexperienced squad, Low has accommodated the wishes of the Bundesliga clubs who were unhappy at the prospect of losing key players during their pre-season preparations.
''It was clear to us from the beginning that we would have to do without established names after the World Cup,'' explained Low. ''We are aware of our responsibility towards the form and the health of our national-team players.
''Particularly given the high strains placed on them at the World Cup, it is therefore important now for them to concentrate on their club football in preparation for the new season.''
However, Low rejects the idea that he has named a reserve team for the first match since beating Uruguay in the third-place play-off at the World Cup.
He said: ''It was decisive for us that we nominated players who we had been observing before the World Cup and who had been able to put themselves in contention for selection with their good performances.''
Germany squad: Manuel Neuer (Schalke), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen); Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Jerome Boateng (Manchester City), Sascha Riether, Marcel Schafer (both Wolfsburg), Christian Schulz (Hannover), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart); Christian Gentner (Stuttgart), Thomas Hitzlsperger (West Ham), Aaron Hunt, Marko Marin (both Werder Bremen), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Christian Trasch (Stuttgart), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg); Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen).