5 Things Germany Coach Joachim Low Should Test vs. Cameroon
Germany take on Cameroon in Moenchengladbach on Sunday in their penultimate match before this summer’s World Cup.
Joachim Low announces his 23-man squad on June 2. Low’s charges kick off their campaign two weeks later in Salvador, when they face Portugal in the first Group G match.
A few notable players are still under an injury cloud.
Click “Begin Slideshow” for a look at five ways the German coach may look to experiment in the Cameroon clash.
Roman to the Rescue
Low will hand 33-year-old back-up 'keeper Roman Weidenfeller a second cap.
Germany’s No. 1, Manuel Neuer is still on the mend from a shoulder problem, suffered in Bayern’s double-clinching cup win over Dortmund.
Weidenfeller, the Borussia Dortmund stalwart, kept a clean sheet on debut against England at Wembley in November 2013.
Third-choice Ron-Robert Zieler (three caps) of Hanover 96 may also get some game time.
Low will give Neuer all the time he needs to recuperate from injury and offer the understudies more valuable experience under battle conditions.
Khedira Key Man
The Real Madrid star is sure to be riding the crest of a wave after that “Decima” win in Lisbon.
However, Khedira has made just three starts for Real since being sidelined with a torn cruciate ligament injury last November.
On each of those occasions, Khedira was sacrificed by Carlo Ancelotti at around the hour mark.
Look for Low to continue to ease his No. 6 back into the German fray as he nears optimum fitness for Brazil.
Move Klose to the Record
Germany’s joint-record goalscorer has suffered with injuries at Serie A club Lazio.
Klose is coming off the worst of his three seasons in Italy, with seven goals in 25 appearances.
Low will be keen to avoid a “Diego Costa” scenario, where an injury could leave his side in the lurch.
The Polish-born striker will be 36 by the time the tournament comes around. An injury in the tournament itself would leave Germany without a recognised striker.
FIFA rules state that a player from the final list can be "replaced in the event of serious injury up until 24 hours before the kick-off of the team's ﬁrst match."
So Jogi Low needs to keep testing Klose's ageing body.
Klose has huge motivation to perform in Brazil, having fired 14 goals in 19 World Cup outings. He needs just two more goals to become the top scorer in World Cup history.
Christoph Kramer made his debut in Germany’s last match, the goalless draw against Poland.
The 23-year-old star from Borussia Moenchengladbach was called up a day later to the provisional squad after impressing in defensive midfield against the Poles.
Kramer looks to have burst into the spotlight at just the right time.
Lars Bender was ruled out completely last week with a thigh injury. In defensive midfield, there are ongoing injury concerns over Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Khedira.
This will be a home match for Jogi Low’s left-field selection, who’s currently on a two-year loan deal to Gladbach from Bayer Leverkusen.
Low waxed lyrical about Kramer at the training camp: “My impression of him is absolutely positive. He has a good chance of going to Brazil. He tackles very well, is confident on the ball and has a great engine.”
A sound performance against Cameroon can seal Kramer’s seat on the plane that leaves Frankfurt on June 7.
Boasting world-class striker Samuel Eto’o in their ranks, "The Indomitable Lions" of Cameroon will provide a stern test.
Experienced German coach, Volker Finke, once of SC Freiburg, can also call on familiar faces from the Bundesliga, such as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Mohamadou Idrissou and Joel Matip.
Ghana’s "Black Stars" are Germany’s group opponents in three weeks’ time in Fortaleza.
Sunday gives Low an ideal chance to assess his side against African opposition.
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