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Malta game is 'important' for German squad, says Low

Germany coach Joachim Low insists today's friendly against Malta is an important part of his World Cup preparations.

The game, which will be played in Aachen, is a benefit match with funds going to several of the German Football Association's charitable organisations and Low will be without the lion's share of the squad he will take to the World Cup.

Low is without players from Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen as well as Chelsea's Michael Ballack due to their domestic duties and has named five players in his squad who will not remain for the pre-World Cup camps in Italy.

But Low still expects to learn something about his players.

"The Malta game is certainly important," he said. "The game is one in which the young players have the chance to show once again that they deserve a place in our extended squad to which they have been called up.

"We also want to give the fans some pleasure and score a few goals and so we want to take this game seriously."

Kevin Grosskreutz, Mats Hummels, Stefan Reinartz, Marco Reus and Tobias Sippel are all set to make their international debuts, but all five will then be leaving the national team.

Further friendly matches against Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina are scheduled to be played before Low narrows down his squad to 23 in time for their departure for South Africa on 6 June.

Cologne's under-fire striker Lukas Podolski and Cacau of Stuttgart are likely to lead the attack in the absence of Bayern Munich duo Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose.