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Below strength Germany serious for Brazil – Boateng

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Germany’s players pose for a team photo prior to the international friendly football match of Germany vs Spain in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on March 23, 2018, in preparation of the 2018 Fifa World Cup: (front row, L-R) Germany’s midfielder Joshua Kimmich, Germany’s forward Thomas Mueller, Germany’s midfielder Julian Draxler, Germany’s striker Timo Werner and Germany’s midfielder Mesut Ozil; (row behind, L-R) Germany’s midfielder Leroy Sane, Germany’s defender Mats Hummels, Germany’s midfielder Toni Kroos, Germany’s defender Jonas Hector, Germany’s midfielder Sami Khedira and Germany’s defender Jerome Boateng. / AFP PHOTO / Patrik STOLLARZ

Jerome Boateng insists Germany see Tuesday’s friendly against Brazil in Berlin as an important test despite coach Joachim Loew planning a string of changes.

Loew revealed that Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be rested with a slight knee strain, leaving Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno to play a half each at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

As first-choice Manuel Neuer is recovering from a fractured foot, it effectively means Germany will field their third and fourth choice goalkeepers against the South American giants.

Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt will also make only his sixth international appearance at left-back.

Mesut Ozil and Thomas Mueller have been released by Loew to rest while Manchester City pair Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan are expected to face Brazil.

Boateng, who was born in Berlin, will captain Germany in his home city if Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira fails to recover from a back problem.

The Bayern Munich defender played down the resting of World Cup winners Ozil and Mueller.

“Despite that, it is still an important game and there are other reasons Mueller and Ozil aren’t here anymore,” said Boateng.

“They have both played a lot this season and they shouldn’t be over-played.

“Those involved don’t always play for the national team, but in games like this you can test things, the Brazilians are also missing players.”

This will be the first time Germany face Brazil at senior international level since the Selecao were hammered 7-1 in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil coach Tite has included four survivors — Marcelo, Fernandinho, Willian and Paulinho — from the squad mauled by the Germans four years ago.

Fernandinho is expected to replace Douglas Costa in the only change from the team which beat Russia 3-0 in Moscow on Friday without the injured Neymar.

Loew is likely to start with just a handful of players who were involved in the remarkable Belo Horizonte clash in 2014.

After Germany drew 1-1 with Spain last Friday, Loew insists the Brazil showdown is another demanding challenge for the world champions.

“Both games are high-level test matches for us,” said Loew.

“You can see that from the extremely high pass quota — over 90 percent — from Spain, we expect the same against Brazil.

“Against top teams like this you can learn a lot of things to take away for the 2018 World Cup.”

Brazil coach Tite has spoken about the “ghost” of the 7-1 defeat still haunting the Selecao, but Loew said it’s time to move on.

“There might be three or four players in the starting line-ups from 2014,” he said.

“I do not think that, for example, Marcelo, who played at the time and has shown up really well at Real Madrid, as have other Brazilians in top teams, will be afraid against us or will fear another 7-1 defeat.

“Of course, the Brazilians probably have a bit of desire for revenge, but you can’t turn the clock back.


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