• England

Germany forward Ozil out of Wembley friendly

ESPN staff
November 18, 2013
Low: Germany ready for England

Mesut Ozil has been relieved from international duty for Germany's friendly with England at Wembley.

Ozil has trained sparingly with his Germany team-mates in recent days, leading to concerns that the Arsenal midfielder is carrying a knock.

But coach Joachim Low has decided he wants to give less established players an opportunity to shine, so he has opted to rest the Arsenal midfielder - along with Philipp Lahm and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

"The England game is our last chance before the World Cup to try out one or two new tactical variations and personnel," Low said.

"Lahm, Neuer and Ozil are part of the absolute backbone of our team and for me, it is more important now to give other players a chance to prove themselves in these key positions, particularly against such a strong team as England."

But Low insists he is not disrespecting England by trying out an experimental side with a number of fringe players.

Borussia Dortmund's 33-year-old goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller will make his debut, while Ozil's Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker also a definite starter.

Sven Bender will come in for Sami Khedira, who has been ruled out for six months after suffering a knee injury in Friday's 1-1 draw with Italy, while Marcel Schmelzer comes in for Marcel Jansen at left-back.

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

"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.

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

Likely Germany starting XI to face England: Weidenfeller; Howedes, Mertesacker, Hummels, Schmelzer; Kroos, Bender; Sam, Draxler, Reus; Kruse

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