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Ozil rested as Germany’s Loew injects fresh blood

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"The players from the main European leagues do not have a winter break as there is in the Bundesliga," said Loew in explaining his decision to leave out Ozil.

“The players from the main European leagues do not have a winter break as there is in the Bundesliga,” said Loew in explaining his decision to leave out Ozil.

BERLIN, Germany, Nov 4- Calling up three new faces, Germany coach Joachim Loew will rest Arsenal forward Mesut Ozil for the holders’ World Cup qualifier with tiny San Marino and the friendly with Italy thereafter.

“The players from the main European leagues do not have a winter break as there is in the Bundesliga,” said Loew in explaining his decision to leave out Ozil.

“That’s why it’s good in some cases to give a rest to those who play regularly for their club and for us.”

The Bundesliga-based stars will take a month off from December 21 but elsewhere, notably in the Premier League, the pace is relentless through the winter.

Loew’s squad unveiled Friday contains just nine players who lifted the World Cup two years ago.

The four-times world champions currently sit atop their group after three straight wins and Loew feels the time is right to blood new talent along the road to Russia 2018.

The November 15 friendly against the Italians in Milan will see youngster Serge Gnabry, Yannick Gerhardt and Benjamin Henrichs get their chance.

More established faces such as Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos have been called up solely for the San Marino match four days earlier.

Loew, 56 and who has just extended his deal through to 2020, says Die Mannschaft will take the Group C makeweights seriously.

“We shall take this final qualification match of the year as seriously as the three previous ones,” Loew insisted.

“The goal in San Marino is to win by as wide a margin as possible and underpin our position at the top of the group.

“At the same time we shall continue to give the youngsters their chance.”

Among the new faces, Gnabry is a 21-year-old striker who pitched up at Werder Bremen after failing to make it into the first team picture at Arsenal. He was a star of the German Olympic side’s run to the final in Rio with six goals in six games.

If Gnabry’s promotion to the full squad was largely expected, that of Gerhardt and Henrichs was less so.

Gerhardt, 22, is a promising midfielder with Wolfsburg while Henrichs, 19, has been showing his steel in defence for Leverkusen, with whom he is playing in this season’s Champions League, albeit he also has showed promise in a more attacking role.

German squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelone)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Yannick Gerhardt (VfL Wolfsburg), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (1899 Hoffenheim), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders/strikers: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Serge Gnabry (Werder Bremen), Mario Gomez (VfL Wolfsburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Max Meyer (Schalke 04), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)

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