Why this formation ?
This variation offers a mixture of youth and experience. Dortmund's Maximilian Philipp will be pushing for higher honours soon, while Sandro Wagner will also be hoping for a place on the plane.
There was no real need to scrape the barrel for the fourth variation – wait until you see the list of absentees! Matthias Ginter stands as the sole survivor from 2014, but every single one of these players has represented their country at either senior or U-21 level.
Germany's defensive strength in depth is underlined in the final line-up: two of the Bundesliga's most reliable centre-backs, Willi Orban and Ginter, only appear on the periphery of Löw's thinking, although both will no doubt fancy their chances of a spot on the plane to Russia if they continue their barnstorming form.
Ginter, in particular, looks to have benefited from his summer move to Gladbach and is back to his best thanks to playing more regular football.
A youthful, well-balanced midfield comprises Kerem Demirbay and Mahmoud Dahoud, whose fine start to life at Dortmund means he will surely be pushing for a first cap sooner, rather than later.
Another youngster to have had a fine start to life in Dortmund is Maximilian Philipp: if he continues his rich goalscoring form, he'll be pushing for Reus' place in Löw's first-choice XI. Although the Germany coach is not a natural risk-taker, he has always been willing to reward players impressing domestically, and the 23-year-old is doing just that this season, having scored four goals already.
Up top, Wagner's wonderful goal against Northern Ireland pointed to his qualities: the Hoffenheim striker, who won the European Under-21 Championship back in 2009, has experienced a renaissance in the Bundesliga, giving him a new lease on life on the international circuit. Although 29, four goals in as many international games is an outstanding record.
There's still a year to go until Joachim Löw has to consider making a final cut for his 23-man World Cup squad, but the array of talent he has at his disposal is enviable to say the very least.
Just take a look at this list of absentees:
Goalkeepers: Oliver Baumann (Hoffenheim), Ralf Fährmann (Schalke), Timo Horn (Cologne)
Defenders: Sven Bender (Leverkusen), Thilo Kehrer (Schalke), Lukas Klostermann (Leipzig), Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund)
Midfielders: Nadiem Amiri (Hoffenheim), Maximilian Arnold (Wolfsburg), Karim Bellarabi (Leverkusen), Diego Demme (Leipzig), Daniel Didavi (Wolfsburg), Kai Havertz (Leverkusen), Christoph Kramer (Gladbach), Max Meyer (Schalke)
Forwards: Max Kruse (Werder Bremen), Andre Schürrle (Dortmund), Mark Uth (Hoffenheim)
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