Lahm excused Germany duty
Germany coach Joachim Low has left his captain Philipp Lahm out of his 24-man squad for the upcoming friendly matches with Ukraine and Holland.
Lahm will be given a break by Low rather than travelling to Kiev next Friday, with the Bayern Munich full-back tired after the season's exertions.
''I spoke with Philipp and I decided not to call him up this time,'' explained Low. ''He plays so many games each season, mainly for the full 90 minutes, so now he can have a break and I have the chance to test some alternatives for the left full-back position.''
However, Low will not be performing any major experiments after naming an established squad of players for the two friendly matches, with only Lars Bender and Marcel Schmelzer joining the squad which faced Turkey and Belgium last month.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will also be spared the trip to Kiev, but he will be back to face Holland in Hamburg in 10 days' time. His place against the Ukraine will go to either Tim Wiese or Ron-Robert Zieler.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich midfielder and Germany vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger misses out after breaking his collarbone in midweek, so Miroslav Klose is likely to wear the captain's armband for the two matches which Low hopes will crown a glorious 2011.
''We want to bring this successful year to a positive conclusion,'' he said. ''It is important that we now visit the Ukraine after facing Poland in Gdansk so that we will have experienced both host nations for Euro 2012.
''Not many words are required to explain our prestigious clash with our Dutch neighbours. The Oranje have been playing the most consistently good football together with Spain and us and all of the fans can look forward to an attractive match.''
Neuer (Schalke), Zieler (Hannover), Wiese (Werder Bremen), Aogo (Hamburg), Badstuber, Boateng (both Bayern Munich), Hummels, Schmelzer (both Borussia Dortmund), Mertesacker (Arsenal), Howedes (Schalke), Trasch (Wolfsburg), Bender, Rolfes, Schurrle (all Bayer Leverkusen), Khedira, Ozil (both Real Madrid), Kroos, Muller (both Bayern Munich), Reus (Borussia Monchengladbach), Podolski (Cologne), Cacau (Stuttgart), Gomez (Bayern Munich), Klose (Lazio).