German national football team goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stretches to catch the ball during a test match on May 30, 2018 ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. The ‘Mannschaft’ stays for trainings in Rungghof until June 7, 2018. MARKUS GILLIAR / POOL / AFP
After eight-months sidelined by a fractured foot, Manuel Neuer will pull on the Germany No.1 shirt on Saturday when they take on Austria in a rain-hit World Cup warm-up match.Heavy rain in Klagenfurt meant kick-off had to be pushed back by 30 minutes from 1800 (1600 GMT).
Two weeks before Germany kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia, Germany head coach Joachim Loew has named the Bayern ‘keeper in the starting side — 259 days after his last match for Munich.
Loew has to cut his 27-man squad to 23 by Monday and the match against Austria is Neuer’s only chance to prove his fitness before the World Cup finals.
Neuer has not played since fracturing a metatarsal in his left foot last September — the second time he suffered the same injury in 2017.
He last played for the national team in October 2016.
If he is selected for the final World Cup squad, Neuer will have the opportunity to play a last friendly match on June 8 in Leverkusen against Saudi Arabia.
Germany kick off their title defence on June 17 in Moscow against Mexico. They also face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.
Meanwhile, Freiburg striker Nils Petersen, the surprise inclusion in Loew’s 27-man group, will make his international debut against Austria.
Senior players Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos are rested.
Joerg Siebenhandl – Stefan Lainer, Sebastian Proedl, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger – Peter Zulj, Julian Baumgartlinger, Florian Grillitsch – Alessandro Schoepf, David Alaba – Marko Arnautovic
Manuel Neuer – Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Suele, Antonio Ruediger, Jonas Hector – Sami Khedira, Ilkay Gundogan – Julian Brandt, Mesut Ozil, Leroy Sane – Nils Petersen.