25.03.2007: Löw releases eight players after Prague win

German Football
By German Football March 26, 2007 21:31

25.03.2007: Löw releases eight players after Prague win

Germany’s coach Joachim Löw on Sunday rung the changes for Wednesday night’s friendly against Denmark by announcing an inexperienced 16-man squad aimed at blooding some of his rising stars. Loew called up two uncapped players: striker Patrick Helmes of second division 1. FC Köln and midfielder Simon Rolfes of Bayer Leverkusen.

Having opened up a three-point gap at the top of their Euro 2008 qualifying group after a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Prague on Saturday, Löw will rest his first-choice side for Wednesday’s game in Duisburg.

Schalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi, whose headed goals either side of half-time gave Germany the valuable win in Prague, is the most experienced player in the squad with 37 caps.

Alongside captain and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, the Bayern Munich trio of Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski and BastianSchweinsteiger, as well as Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, the Werder Bremen players Torsten Frings and Per Mertesacker and Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Schneider are amongst the group who have been sent home.

“It’s all about giving other players their opportunity,” said Löw. “Saturday’s game was an important and hard fought win for us. The team played well as a unit and put together some intelligent phases of play, but we need to look at other options with a view to the future.”

Having only come back into the national side in last month’s 3-1 win over Switzerland, 25-year-old Kuranyi is staking a strong case for his place in the first-choice side and is hoping to build on a superb performance.

“Kuranyi has proved that he is in a good vein of form and is scoring some good goals”, said Löw, “it’s nice to have someoptions up front.”

The friendly is a sensible time for Löw, who has an impressive record as coach of seven wins and a draw having succeeded Jürgen Klinsmann last year, to look to the future.

With no more Euro 2008 qualifying fixtures until the visit of minnows San Marino in June, Denmark, who lost 2-1 to Spain in Madrid at the weekend, will provide a good work out for his inexperienced side.

German Football
By German Football March 26, 2007 21:31
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