When Germany meet Italy on Wednesday at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund it is more then just an international friendly. A lot is at stage between these two giants of international football besides the history of these to sides meeting at exactly the same venue on July 4 in the semifinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which Italy went on to win 2-0 through these two goals late in extra-time.
"The World Cup year is finally history, we now have to approach new and important tasks. Our priority is to qualify as early as possible for the European Championships," Loew told German agency sid. And for Loew the Italy test is a chance to see who amongst the established and young players are set to make the trip to Poland and the Ukraine in 2012.
Loew has been experimenting with younger players towards the end of 2010 after a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup, but in this friendly Germany will welcome back captain Philipp Lahm, Mesut Oezil, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Holger Badstuber; while in Sven Bender there will be only one debutant. Missing the tie will be the inform Mario Gomez, who damaged ligaments in his right knee during Bayern's shock 3-2 league defeat to Cologne on Saturday.
In total the squad has six players from defending Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich and five from current league leaders Borussia Dortmund in a squad of 21 players.
Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04), Rene Adler (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
Arne Friedrich (VfL Wolfsburg), Dennis Aogo (Hamburger SV), Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern Munich; Captain), Jerome Boateng (Manchester City), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (SV Werder Bremen), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (Hamburger SV)
Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Großkreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Mesut Oezil (Real Madrid), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern Munich), Christian Träsch (VfB Stuttgart)
Miroslav Klose (FC Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Cologne)
Joachim Loew (Coach), Hansi Flick (Assistant Coach), Andreas Koepke (Goalkeeping Coach)