Germany manager Joachim Low has finalised his 23-man squad that will compete at the European Championships next month, cutting his 27-man training squad by excluding Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sven Bender, Julian Draxler and, most surprisingly, Cacau.
The Stuttgart striker is a shock exclusion as Low opts to take only three strikers in the squad to Poland and Ukraine next month, trusting the experienced trio of Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose.
The 31-year-old Brazilian-born forward, who has six international goals, had been expected to be in the Germany squad that faces Portugal on June 9th in their opening fixture, but he, along with the other three axed players, were sent home from Germany’s training camps in Sardinia and France on Monday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Ter Stegen made his debut in the 5-3 defeat to Switzerland on Saturday, while 19-year-old Draxler and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender were always unlikely to feature in the final list.
It has left Low with a squad that features ten midfielders and a whole host of attacking talent. Along with their attacking trio, midfield maestros Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller look set to star once again for a team that includes no less than eight Bayern Munich stars, as well as Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker.
Germany complete their preparations for Euro 2012 with a fixture against Israel, before competing in the ‘group of death’ with Holland, Portugal and Denmark.
We currently price them as 11/4 joint-favourites with Spain, which means anyone backing them with their free £25 bet for registering will win £93.75 if they lift the trophy.
Germany squad for Euro 2012:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (SV Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96).
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Howedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).
Midfielders : Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (VfL Borussia Monchengladbach), Andre Schurrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund).
Strikers: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (FC Koln).
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