Germany will host Argentina in a rematch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, a game the Germans won 1-0 after extra time courtesy of a Mario Gotze goal.
Perhaps not surprising for a friendly this early in the season, the pregame news is dominated by the stars who will be missing in action rather than those on the pitch.
Marquee names such as Lionel Messi and Mesut Ozil are set to miss the fixture as they nurse minor knocks. However, these omissions have created opportunities for others, such as Tottenham Hotspur's rejuvenated winger Erik Lamela.
Here's all of the relevant schedule information for the game, including start time and television details:
|Germany vs. Argentina: Date, Start Time, TV and Live Stream Details|
|Date||Start Time||TV||Live Stream|
|Wednesday, September 3||7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET||BT Sport 1/ESPN Deportes||BT Sport App/Watch ESPN|
|BTSport.com and LiveSoccerTV.com|
Key Stars Missing for Both Teams
It's all change for the World Cup winners after Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose all retired from international football. Replacing skipper Lahm was the biggest concern, but the Germans chose wisely by appointing influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as new captain.
The decision was confirmed on the English version of the team's official Twitter feed:
Schweinsteiger won't play in Berlin, and neither will fellow midfielder Sami Khedira or defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, per ESPN.co.uk.
One other midfield ace Germany will be without is Ozil. The Arsenal schemer sustained an ankle injury in a recent 1-1 away draw at Leicester City, per BBC Sport. Fortunately, few international teams on the planet can survive the loss of an advanced playmaker as well as Germany.
Manager Joachim Low can still call on players such as Gotze and Toni Kroos. They can both move the ball quickly and have a knack for finding pockets of space between the midfield and forward lines.
Even without Ozil, the Germans will still be able to display their usual quick-thinking combination passing and creativity at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
But while Germany are able to withstand losing Ozil, Argentina won't replace Messi so easily. The pocket-edition prolific forward is his country's talisman.
However, he won't make the trip to Germany after sustaining a muscular injury in recent La Liga action, per Goal.com writer Miles Chambers.
Being without Messi for his first game in charge is certainly less than ideal preparation for new manager Gerardo Martino. However, Messi may not be particularly relishing playing for the manager he often bridled under for FC Barcelona last season.
Ex-Barca boss Radomir Antic claimed last season that Messi didn't like being pushed out wide by Martino, per Alberto Pinero of Goal.com.
"Messi did not do much running because the coach told him to play as a winger," he said. "This was Messi's way of saying 'If you want me to play on the wing, I will do just that.'"
Without Messi to call on, Martino has turned to Lamela. Last season that would've been a laughable notion. But the ex-AS Roma winger has made a solid start to his second season with Tottenham Hotspur.
Lamela has already tallied two assists in three Premier League appearances this season, per WhoScored.com. He is versatile enough to attack from either flank, and his pace and trickery could trouble Germany's lack of pace in wide defensive areas.
If Lamela gets onto the pitch in Berlin, it will be interesting to see how he fares alongside his illustrious compatriots. That will be a true barometer of his progress.
Predicted Final Score: Germany 1-0 Argentina
Both squads will be undermanned but expect Germany to sneak another narrow win, buoyed by their home fans.
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