Leroy Sane was the biggest casualty of Joachim Low’s World Cup 2014 squad as the German manager announced his 23-man team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.

The defending champions have struggled in their last five friendlies, and are winless, losing 2-1 to Austria in their last match. This was the Die National mannschaft’s first loss to their neighbours in 32 years.

Manuel Neuer, out for nearly eight months with a fractured foot, was included as were Paris Saint-Germain keeper Kevin Trapp and Barcelona custodian Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. The defensive component of the squad was on expected lines, as Jonas Hector, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng all returned from the 2014 World Cup winning squad.

Sami Khedira, Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Thomas Muller and Ilkay Gundogan are all part of one of the strongest midfield contingents of the World Cup as Low included only two specialist forwards in his squad.

Red Bull Leipzig striker Timo Werner is expected to lead the line in case of Low opting to play a recognised forward, as Mario Gomez will play back-up to the German number nine.

Low was not pleased with his team’s last performance and slammed them for it, “The defeat is annoying, we did well in the first half, but we lost a lot of ball in the second half and made life hard for ourselves.

“A lot of things were bad today.”