skip to content

Loew ready for 'acid test'

18 Nov 2013 14:47:50

Loew ready for 'acid test'

Joachim Loew will hand a host of fringe players an "acid test" against England after rejecting claims his much-changed Germany line-up is a mark of disrespect.

The Germany coach will give an international debut to Borussia Dortmund's 33-year-old goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller at Wembley on Tuesday, with Arsenal's Per Mertesacker a definite starter.

Loew said he has not selected a "B team" to take on Roy Hodgson's side, labelling Wembley a "mythical place" - despite resting key men Mesut Ozil, Philip Lahm and Manuel Neuer.

Marcel Schmelzer is set to replace 43-cap Marcel Jansen at left-back and Sven Bender should slot into midfield for Sami Khedira, who is recovering from knee ligament surgery.

Loew said: "It's certainly an extraordinary match: Wembley is a mythical place, so we're raring to go.

"What better test for these upcoming players than to go out in front of that partisan 80,000 crowd cheering their own team on.

"I need to experiment a bit and send a few players home who are already established.

"It is a deliberate acid test, not a "B team", and this is certainly no lack of respect to our hosts.

"In 2008 in Berlin, England played a team without Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard and beat us 2-1."

Confirming Neuer remains his first-choice goalkeeper, Loew said experienced Dortmund stopper Weidenfeller fully merits his international opportunity.

He said: "We weren't exactly looking for goalkeepers because we have plenty.

"Rene Adler has played a vital part in victories against Russia and France after injury, so we know what he's worth.

"Roman deserves his place in the squad after all those fantastic performances for Dortmund.

"With the World Cup next year we've got to be prepared with several alternatives.

"He's made a fantastic impression both in training and in the league.

"He's a mature personality, he plays with composure, he's cool, calm and collected and his goalkeeping credentials are beyond any doubt."

Real Madrid star Khedira is expected to miss six months after suffering a serious knee injury in Friday's 1-1 draw with Italy.

Loew backed the 26-year-old to be fit in time for next summer's World Cup in Brazil, though.

Loew said: "If anyone is capable of coming back from such a bad injury, it's Sami Khedira.

"He's a natural-born fighter: it's in his spirit, so let's just see what happens.

"We'll just have to be optimistic, just like he is."


PA

Sponsored links

advertisement

Related Germany News

advertisement

advertisment