Low’s Germany renew rivalry with Argentina

Germany and Argentina lock horns tonight in a repeat of July’s World Cup final but international retirements and injuries mean Joachim Low and Gerardo Martino will field much-changed sides from that memorable night in Rio.

Low’s Germany renew rivalry with Argentina

Less than two months on from their 1-0 triumph at the Maracana Stadium courtesy of Mario Gotze’s extra-time goal, Germany face Argentina in a friendly in Dusseldorf.

They must do so without a number of players who helped Die Mannschaft to a fourth World Cup triumph — including new skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Captain Philipp Lahm, all-time top goalscorer Miroslav Klose and stalwart defender Per Mertesacker all quit international football after the World Cup win and Schweinsteiger, who was named as Lahm’s successor at yesterday’s pre-match press conference, also misses out due to injury.

Schweinsteiger’s appointment is no great surprise given his wealth of experience and Low insists the Bayern Munich midfielder was the stand-out choice.

“I know I can always rely on him,” Low, whose side play their first 2016 European Championship qualifier against Scotland in Dortmund on Sunday, said. “He has an immense level of experience and a high degree of acceptance within the team and from the coaches. He’s a great communicator and that’s important for the players.”

Former Barcelona boss Martino takes charge of Argentina for the first time since succeeding Alejandro Sabella and must do without several players, including captain Lionel Messi, who has a hamstring strain. Others missing include Maxi Rodriguez (hamstring), Rodrigo Palacio (ankle), Ezequiel Garay (thigh) while Ezequiel Lavezzi is a doubt.

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