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Friendly Preview: Germany vs. Argentina

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Why are they even doing this? This is so stupid. With the German Pokal ready to kick off this weekend (Monday for FC Bayern) and many European associations starting their full league schedule on Saturday, Germany and Argentina will play a friendly at Eintracht Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena tomorrow night. So the players will be running around desperately trying to avoid injury, everyone's mind will be elsewhere with the real season approaching, and many top players will be out of the line-ups with injuries or pretend injuries.

Anyway, I guess it's still a fun match-up. As far as I know, the teams haven't played since their meeting in South Africa in 2010. Come on, you knew we couldn't let that pass without a video clip:

I like how Klose held off on his trademark front-flip celebration after his first goal. Like he was thinking, "nah, I'll bring that out when I score again, later in the match."

For Germany, Gomez is obviously on the shelf, and Sven Bender, Poldi, Bastian and Manuel Neuer are out. ESPN reports that Ron-Robert Zieler will be in the net, while the AFP is sure that it will be ter Stegen. So somebody's wrong, unless we're going to see the elusive 2-goalie formation.

A full line-up hasn't been announced yet, though many of the starters are present, so it shouldn't be a completely B-team. Khedira wants to play, Lahm wanted to play but looks like he might not, and a few of the younger guys are probably going to get some minutes (Reus, Kroos, and Draxler?). We'll have a full formation before the match tomorrow.

On the Argentina side, they've already started World Cup 2014 qualifying. An early loss to Venezuela and draw vs. Bolivia raised eyebrows, but they've rebounded with two straight wins. Their most recent, an emphatic 4-0 crushing of Ecuador, puts them in good position as far as CONMEBOL. We probably won't see that same level of intensity tomorrow, but they are bringing a mostly full squad.

The good news: a full TV slate will bring us the match. It looks like it will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 in Europe, ESPN 2 in North America, ESPN 3 online, and on Telefutura (which I believe is USA, Mexico, and the Caribbean). We'll have a match day thread for those who want to watch together and collectively hold our breath at every tackle.

Back with more later - Bild says this Javi Martinez thing is going to happen, though rumors are floating around that Real Madrid and Man U would be willing to lodge a bid if Bayern's deal isn't done. Also, the new rumor is that Gustavo would leave if Javi came aboard. Oooo, that's going to make some people very unhappy. Thanks for reading.

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