Germany is looking to end its 18-year title drought in a major competition by injecting a strong dose of youth into its 2014 World Cup squad.
Coach Joachim Loew has drafted Schalke 04 teenagers Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer into the provisional 30-man squad, alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Erik Durm, Shkodran Mustafi of Sampdoria and Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter.
Loew followed a similar pattern in the 2010 competition. What was then the country’s youngest World Cup squad in 76 years went on to finish third in the tournament.
Although Lars Bender has been ruled out through a thigh injury, Germany has cover in almost every position. The welcome return from injury of Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira will boost an already strong midfield, while Julian Draxler has been pitted “one to watch”.
Despite a traditionally strong defence, Germany has cracked of late, conceding seven goals in two qualifiers against Sweden.
Germany will play in Group G in June’s competition, along with Ghana, Portugal and the United States. Loew’s side is expected to progress to the semi finals, if not further.