International Friendly Preview: Ecuador v Germany
By Football News
Germany travel to USA without a number of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund stars as they prepare to meet Ecuador.
With the top two German sides having contested the UEFA Champions League final and Bayern preparing for their DFB-Pokal final clash with Stuttgart, Joachim Loew has named an unfamiliar squad.
The likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller, Philipp Lahm, Mario Goetze, Marco Reus, and Mats Hummels have all been left behind due to their club commitments.
One man who is included in the 21-man squad is Miroslav Klose, and the striker is hoping to break Gerd Mueller's goalscoring record for the national side. Mueller scored 68 goals for his country in his eight years but the Lazio forward is just one behind him and will be eager to eclipse that figure.
With many of his first-choice squad absent, Loew has the welcome chance to take a look at some new faces at international level.
He has called up four players who have yet to win an international cap, and Philipp Wollscheid, Nicolai Mueller, Sidney Sam and Max Kruse could all get game time against Ecuador, or in the second match of their tour against USA.
Ecuador have only lost once in their previous ten matches, and have scored 22 goals during a run which included victories over Portugal and Colombia. Their last defeat came in June 2012 when they were beaten 4-0 by Argentina in Buenos Aires, with the deadly quartet of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria inflicting a heavy defeat.
They will be looking to Felipe Caicedo, Jefferson Montero and Cristian Benitez to continue their recent run of goalscoring form, with the forward trio having scored seven of the last nine goals Ecuador have managed.
Germany are also on a good run of form having lost just once in their last nine matches - that defeat coincidentally coming against Argentina. Loew's side are also eight points clear at the top of their
World Cup qualification group and look certain to book a place at the finals in Brazil next year.