The Germany national team has a fresh look about it in Joachim Löw’s first squad since the World Cup exit. The Germany head coach has named 23 players to take on France in the UEFA Nations League and then Peru in a friendly. The team includes three new faces and three returnees.
Defenders Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain) and Nico Schulz (TSG Hoffenheim) have been called up for the first time, alongside Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz. Defender Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen) and attackers Leroy Sané (Manchester City) and Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg) all return to the team. 17 players who went to the World Cup, including captain Manuel Neuer, keep their places for the first Germany squad of the new season, including seven World Cup winners from 2014.
Löw: “The team will be different"
“As far as the immediate future is concerned, it’s important that we make some changes in the team,” said Löw at the squad announcement in Munich’s Allianz Arena. “We have to find the right balance between experienced players and young, energetic, hungry players.”
Löw went on to talk about the team’s upcoming games: “We have important fixtures ahead with the Nations League, and we’ll prepare the team for the challenge. With a good mix between experience and youth, we’ll get that feeling of absolute determination back. The team will be different.”
Nations League important for EUROs qualification
For the Nations League, UEFA split the 55 European national teams up into four divisions. The highest-ranked clubs will face off in League A, with Germany facing France and the Netherlands in Group 1. The team that finishes last in each group will be relegated to League B, whereas the four group winners will battle to win the Nations League trophy in June 2019. The pots for the EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be decided based on the UEFA Nations League’s final standings. There will be ten qualifying groups (five with five teams and five with six), and the top two teams from each group will qualify for the European Championship. The other four available places will go to the European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the Nations League will be in contention.