The coach of Germany’s national soccer team has named his squad for the next two World Cup qualifying matches. Joachim Löw also expressed confidence that Germany would win both games against Kazakhstan.
The squad, which was unveiled during a press conference at the German Football Association's (DFB) headquarters in Frankfurt on Wednesday, included no real surprises.
Despite the fact that Lazio striker Miroslav Klose will miss the games due to a knee injury, Löw decided not to nominate any new faces to play up front.
"Even if Miro is not available, I have enough options and quality up front to implement our philosophy, to play the sort of combination football that I like to see played," Löw said.
No need for Kiessling
The coach also indicated that on-form Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling, who has scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga this season, is not likely to be recalled to the national team anytime soon.
"He has his qualities, he has shown he can score, but it is also a matter of philosophy," the coach said.
This leaves Germany with just one striker, Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez, for the two games against Kazakhstan away in Astana on Friday next week and at home in Nuremberg the following Tuesday.
Also returning to the squad after missing last month's friendly in Paris are Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, as well as Mario Götze and Marco Reus, both of Borussia Dortmund. Like Klose, Dortmund defender Mats Hummels was also left out of the 23-man squad due to injury, as was Bayern's Holger Badstuber.
No. 1 back in goal
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, currently Germany's No. 1, is expected to get the start behind the sticks, after having been forced to make way for Hamburg's Rene Adler in the friendly against France.
Coach Löw said Germany, which beat Kazakhstan 3-0 in Astana in a Euro 2012 qualifier, could have a tougher time of it this time, but that they would win both games.
"Kazakhstan has improved over the past two years," he said. "They are not so naive in the defense any longer. I expect them to be physical and compact in the defense. But I have already written in the six points from these games."
The national team is to gather in Frankfurt on Monday evening. After a couple of days of training, they are to fly on to Astana on Thursday.
Here is the 23-man Germany squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against Kazakhstan:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Rene Adler, Ron-Robert Zieler
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Benedikt Höwedes, Per Mertesacker, Marcel Schmelzer, Heiko Westermann
Midfielders: Lars Bender, Julian Draxler, Sven Bender, Mario Götze, Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus, Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Andre Schürrle
Striker: Mario Gomez
pfd/rc (SID, dpa)