BERLIN - Four of the Bundesliga's most talented young players got their first Germany call-up on Thursday with coach Joachim Low eager to test them on the international stage.
Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer, 22, and teenager Mario Goetze plus Mainz 05 pair Lewis Holtby and Andre Schuerrle, both 20, were included in the squad for the November 17 friendly away to Sweden after a sparkling start to the season.
Low, who guided the youngest German World Cup squad in 76 years to third place in South Africa, also recalled Dortmund's Mats Hummels, 21 and Kevin Grosskreutz, 22, who have one cap each.
"The game in Sweden is a good opportunity to give a chance to players with great potential who have been in the spotlight lately and (who) fit our overall philosophy," said Low.
Dortmund have a four-point lead at the top in the Bundesliga ahead of Mainz 05 after a scintillating start that has seen them score 27 goals in 11 matches and concede only seven.
Goetze has scored twice already and set up another four goals for his team mates.
Schuerrle, with four goals and two assists, and Holtby inspired second-placed Mainz to a seven-match winning streak to equal the Bundesliga record for the best start to a season.
Low opted to give captain Philipp Lahm and fellow Bayern Munich players Holger Badstuber and Thomas Muller a rest for the final international of the year.
He did, however, include Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who missed their two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Turkey and Kazakhstan in October through injury.
Germany top qualifying Group A with maximum points after with four wins out of four.
The Germany coach also agreed with Werder Bremen and Real Madrid not to call up goalkeeper Tim Wiese and midfielder Mesut Ozil.
Goalkeepers: Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04)
Defenders: Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Jerome Boateng (Manchester City), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Sascha Riether (VfL Wolfsburg), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund), Heiko Westermann (Hamburg SV)
Midfielders: Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Lewis Holtby (Mainz 05), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Andre Schuerrle (Mainz 05), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Christian Traesch (VfB Stuttgart)
Forwards: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen)comments