Only one striker in German squad

Germany captain Philipp Lahm. Photograph: EPA.
Germany captain Philipp Lahm. Photograph: EPA.

Cape Town - Germany will travel to this month's World Cup in Brazil with only one out-and-out striker after coach Joachim Loew cut Kevin Volland from his final 23-man squad.

Hoffenheim forward Volland joined defender Shkodran Mustafi and left back Marcel Schmelzer, still nursing a knee injury, as the three players left out of the final squad after being included in a provisional selection for a training camp in Italy.

Volland's exclusion came as a surprise given the stocky striker's physical strength and all-round play were seen as a good alternative to veteran 35-year-old forward Miroslav Klose.

Attacking midfielder Mario Goetze played as a striker in the 2-2 warmup draw against Cameroon on Sunday.

Loew, however, included Borussia Dortmund's Erik Durm, who can play as left back, in the final squad after he won his first cap on Sunday as well as first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm, who are racing to get fit following injuries.

Little-known Mustafi, a surprise call-up in the provisional squad, made way for a more experienced backline, arguably Germany's weakest point while Schmelzer paid the price for missing too much training due to his injury.

Germany are in the much dub ''group of death'' which sees them take on Ghana, United States and Portugal in Group G.

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio)

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