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5 Big Names Who Did Not Make Germany's Provisional Squad for World Cup 2018 Russia

Germany will begin their World Cup campaign of defending the World Champion title against Mexico on 17th June. A country with a host of top tier European footballers, some of them, the very best in their position across the world. Germany, arguably the most consistent team in World Cups or  for that matter, any international tournament. So the stakes are high and so is the quality of the players. Joachim Low, the German coach, has to make the toughest call of shortlisting a squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia, next month. Such is the depth of the nation's talent in football that Low almost played his team B for the FIFA Confederation Cup last year and still managed to win it handsomely.
Germany have today announced their 27-man provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. According to the rules, Germany will have to drop four names from this list to submit a final 23 man squad for the World Cup.
Manuel Neuer has been included in the squad and will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness in Russia. With Germany having such a plethora of talent to choose their squad from, there is bound to have some high profile casualties. Still four players yet to be struck off, we take a look at five such player who have missed a chance to get on that plane to Russia:

1. Sven Ulreich

Though most people will remember for his horrendous mistake against Real Madrid, leaving Benzema with an open goal and the ball at his feet, but if you follow Bundesliga every week you will know he has been a fundamental part of Bayern Munich's league campaign filling the void of arguably the best goalkeeper in the world- Manuel Neuer. 
Taking Neuer's place in the team since September, Ulreich has been an integral member under Jupp Heynckes and made crucial saves over the course of the season. In Bundesliga, Ulreich kept 12 clean sheets in 26 matches and conceded just 20 goals.
After a successful campaign for the Bavarians, Ulreich frankly deserved a place in this provisional squad ahead of PSG's Kevin Trapp. The PSG goalkeeper started just 3 league games this season and has not been a first choice keeper for the French side. He definitely deserved a chance ahead of the PSG shot-stopper.

2. Serge Gnabry

On loan at Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich, Serge Gnabry was one of the key members of the Julian Nagelsmann side. Gnabry played 21 times in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim who finished third in the table.
He finished the season with 10 goals and 5 assists and is now expected to be included in the Bayern Munich squad next season. There had been talks over Gnabry impressing Germany boss Joachim Low over the course of the season.
It is this reason why his exclusion has come as a sort of a surprise. Though not at the consistent level of starting for Germany, Serge Gnabry could have been a useful tool for Die Mannschaft from the bench with his sudden burst of pace and his ability to get past his man.

3. Emre Can

Emre Can's exclusion might be a forced one. The box to box midfielder has been missing action for Liverpool since March with a back problem. He last played for Liverpool in a 5-0 win over Watford two months ago.
Can could have been a useful squad member for Germany who was in almost every national squad for the World Cup qualifiers and for the friendlies. He had the trust of Joachim Low who used him in numerous crucial qualifiers.
With Ilkay Gundogan struggling with form and fitness and Sami Khedira not scaling his usual heights this season, a fit Emre Can could have made the difference for the champions in Russia but Low, decided not to take a chance.

4. Sandro Wagner

One of the most notable exclusions from Germany's provisional World Cup squad is of Bayern Munich striker Sandro Wagner. The towering striker has been in good form this season which ultimately got him a move to Munich from Hoffenheim.
He has been a brilliant deputy for Robert Lewandowski and has effectively shared the workload with him. Germany are expected to start with Timo Werner and Thomas Müller up front with many projecting Sandro Wagner as Germany's Plan B.
But the German management has gone ahead and selected Nils Petersen of Freiburg ahead of Sandro Wagner. Peterson was Bundesliga's second highest goalscorer with 13 goals and is a surprise inclusion in the squad.
The 30 year old striker, a late bloomer, has announced his retirement in tears after being dropped from the German squad for the World Cup.
"I hereby resign immediately from the national team,
For me, it is clear that I don't seem to fit with the coaching team with my way – always open, honest and direct to address things."

5. Mario Gotze

You are 21 year old. You score the only goal in the Final, for your country to lift the World Cup. You become a national hero. Now fast forward 4 years. You are out of the World Cup squad! That's shocking, isn't it? 
Maybe not. Götze has battled with injuries since his move to Borussia Dortmund in 2016. A metabolic illness saw him feature for Dortmund just 11 times in the 16/17 season. But this season, Götze has featured 20 times for his club and has been involved in five goals (2 goals and 3 assists). 
The attacking midfielder has performed in patches and it may be his indifferent form and fitness that led Joachim Low to take this big decision. But Götze would feel hard done by as his teammate Marco Reus has booked his place in the team despite making just 7 appearances in the league this season. 



Other notable exclusions: 
Shkodran Mustafi 
Max Meyer
Andre Schurrle