World Cup 2018: Analysing Germany's provisional squad
Die Mannschaft have finally announced a provisional squad for the FIFA World Cup 2018, and there are quite a few surprises in the 27 man squad. The squad consists of 18 players from the Bundesliga, 2 from La Liga, 4 from the EPL, 2 from Ligue 1 and 1 from Serie A.
Joachim Löw has opted to go for form over sentiment, as both Mario Götze and Andre Schürrle - the two men who combined to score the solitary winner in the final of the 2014 World Cup - have been left out.
The final squad will only consist of 23 players however, meaning that 4 names from this list will be axed.
Manuel Neuer's fitness will be Germany's biggest question to answer ahead of the World Cup, but in case he is fit, there is no question as to who will don the No. 1 jersey for the defending champions.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is on the back of a tremendous season for Barcelona, and will be an almost equally good replacement in goal - that is saying a lot when the keeper you are replacing is Manuel Neuer.
While most fans will be content with MATS starting, Neuer is more critical to the core of the team as captain, and that will play a major role in the decision. The friendlies before the start of the WC will give a more clear picture of who the German keeper will be, and until then it should be assumed that it will be Neuer.
The surprise inclusion is definitely Kevin Trapp. The 27-year-old has played only 4 matches in the league with PSG and has been far away from the action for most of the season. While choices like Karius (Liverpool) or Fährmann (Schalke 04) might have been a more logical choice, the third goalkeeper in a squad is often never utilised during the tournament.
In such a case, it is understandable that Löw decided to go with someone with experience rather than a new face in the squad. When the 23 man squad is announced, it is expected that Trapp will be cut and that Bernd Leno goes as the 3rd keeper.
Bayer Leverkusen's Leno has had a quietly excellent season in goal, keeping 10 clean sheets in 33 appearances for the side and helping them finish in the 5th place.