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Germany expect robust start against Australia

SOCHI (Russia)

World champions Germany will pit an inexperienced line-up against Australia in their Confederations Cup opener on Monday with striker Timo Werner anticipating a robust challenge from the Socceroos.

With an average age of just 24 years, four months, and a combined total of 179 international appearances, Germany have the most youthful squad of the eight Confed Cup teams.

Only three of the squad — Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi, Matthias Ginter and Julian Draxler — lifted the World Cup in Brazil three years ago, but none of the trio played in the Rio de Janeiro final.

With the likes of Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng all left at home, Joshua Kimmich is the only Bayern Munich star in the Germany squad.

On the back of his breakthrough season with RB Leipzig, striker Timo Werner, 21, expects a fiery start in Sochi for the untested, green Germans.

“We don’t all know how fit we are after a long and hard season,” admitted Werner.

“Now comes an unpleasant game in which the Australians will try, with their physiques and toughness, to take us on.

“But we have a duty to win the three points. We need to get a quick goal and then exert some dominance.”

A year out from the World Cup in Russia, there has never been a better time for the Socceroos to poach a first win over Germany at a major competition at the fourth attempt.

The world champions have made no secret of the fact their goal is not to win the Confederations Cup, but to blood their next generation of stars.

Agence France-Presse