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Loew has faith in next generation

Germany coach Joachim Loew has backed his makeshift squad to seize the opportunity when they face rivals Netherlands on Wednesday.

The friendly marks Germany’s first outing since they surrendered a four-goal lead to Sweden in World Cup qualifying Group C in October.

Germany are missing nine regulars for the match, including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil, Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, prompting Loew to select a squad without a recognised striker.

Loew admitted Arsenal front man Lukas Podolski may be deployed in the lone striker’s role but said he was better suited as a second striker.

“Lukas Podolski is able to play this position, but he’s a player who’s likely to play better behind the striker,” Loew said.

“But I also see him playing on the left wing. In this position, he has played well for the national team.

“But also for Arsenal he’s playing most of the time on the wings, because there’s much more space for him.

“He can play as a striker, but it’s not his strength to attack solely as a striker. It’s not his ideal position. But for the Netherlands game he’s an important option for us.”

Several youngsters have been drafted into the squad including Sven Bender, Sebastian Jung and Lewis Holtby.

The Dutch will be looking for revenge after losing 3-0 in a friendly last year and suffering a 2-1 defeat to their neighbours at Euro 2012.

“I’m looking forward to this game, of course. Every International game has a very high importance for me and we can learn a lot from these games,” Loew said.

“We’ve got the opportunity to give those (new) players the chance to play against the Netherlands.

“In this prestigious match they can prove themselves against our neighbouring rivals.”

Tue 13 November, 2012
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