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Soccer-Low-key Germany friendly v Poland offers World Cup spots

Reuters

HAMBURG, Germany, May 12 (Reuters) - Germany have failed to generate much enthusiasm for their friendly game against Poland with most big names still busy with their clubs but for some it could be the ticket to the World Cup, assistant coach Hansi Flick said on Monday.

With 36,000 tickets sold in the 57,000 Hamburg stadium for the match on Tuesday that marks the start of their World Cup preparations, Germany will have a dozen newcomers in the squad with only 10 of their 30-man provisional World Cup squad present.

Some 20 players, including all Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund players who face off in the German Cup final on Saturday as well as those playing in Spain and England, will not be in Hamburg.

Flick said the absence of the big name players will give the young footballers a chance to leave their mark.

"We have a squad that has never played like that together," Flick told a news conference. "We will have some meetings to transfer our game philosophy to the players and they will give it their best. Many are on this big stage for the first time."

Asked whether for some, including striker Kevin Volland, who has been named in the provisional World Cup squad, it would be a chance to make the 25 or 26-player squad to be announced this week, he said: "Yes absolutely."

"We wanted to wait and see (what happened in) the Bundesliga over the weekend and in the game against Poland. Then we will announce on Wednesday or Thursday the squad for the training camp that starts on May 21."

For some, including talented VfB Stuttgart defender Antonio Ruediger or Freiburg's Christian Guenter and Oliver Sorg, who are not in the provisional squad, it is a chance to leave an impression for the post-World Cup team.

For the likes of Volland, Matthias Ginter or Shkodran Mustafi, all of whom made the provisional list, the game could be their ticket to the World Cup.

"When you get the chance to maybe go to the World Cup you want to use it. I will enjoy this game against Poland. I have nothing to lose," Volland told reporters.

Germany, drawn in Group G along with Ghana, the United States and Portugal, will also play friendly internationals against Cameroon on June 1 and Armenia on June 6 before their departure for Brazil.

Poland, who have not qualified for the tournament starting next month, will also be missing several big names including Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski and fullback Lukasz Piszczek, both still busy with Dortmund.

The Germans have to hand in their final 23-player squad to organisers by June 2. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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