World Cup squad announced

Germany coach Joachim Loew names his preliminary squad for the World Cup in Russia next month.

World Cup squad announced
dpa

Dortmund, Germany (dpa) - Germany coach Joachim Loew on Tuesday named Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer as one of four goalkeepers in a 27-man provisional squad for the World Cup and sprung a surprise in selecting uncapped Freiburg striker Nils Petersen.

There is no place for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze, scorer of the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina, while Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner is also omitted.

Neuer, 32, has has not played since September following a third fracture to his left foot. He joins Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno as goalkeeping options.

Loew will have to discard one of the keepers before naming his final 23-man squad by June 4.

Loew has chosen stalwart Mario Gomez and RBĀ Leipzig striker Timo Werner up front, while leaving out Wagner and turning to Petersen, 29, who, with 15 goals, was the leading German scorer in the just-ended Bundesliga season.

Petersen is the only newcomer in the squad, although the former Bayern and Werder Bremen forward did play for Germany at junior level and was a member of the country's 2016 Olympic squad as an over-age player.

"He has always made a very good, very fit impression," Loew said. "He is also a good wild card. My feeling is that he will grow with the challenge."

Petersen said via Freiburg's website: "The nomination is a very great honour for me. I really didn't expect it and am very grateful."

Loew, who has also extended his contract to 2022, will take the squad to South Tyrol in Italy on May 23 for training, when he will then have the opportunity to take a closer look at the fitness of erstwhile captain Neuer.

The keeper took part in a full Bayern training session on Tuesday for the first time since his injury and could have the opportunity to prove his match fitness in a friendly game against Austria on June 2.

"To go into a World Cup without match practice is not possible," Loew said.

Among the selections, Goetze's Dortmund team-mate Marco Reus is in the squad after another injury-hit season. Reus had missed both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 as a result of injury but has done enough since his return to be in the reckoning.

Loew said he "felt sorry" for Goetze but "this season he really wasn't in form - I hope he returns."

Loew has meanwhile called up Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah, who will be considered a back-up if Bayern's Jerome Boateng struggles to return from a thigh injury.

The world champions play Saudi Arabia on June 8 in another friendly. The World Cup in Russia begins on June 14 with Germany's first group game against Mexico three days later.

Germany's provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Ilkay Guendogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

Forwards: Timo Werner (Leipzig), Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Nils Petersen (Freiburg)