Joachim Loew is expected to keep faith with Dortmund's stars ahead of Germany's friendly with Italy next Wednesday. According to a report from Kicker, the coach will nominate playmaker Mario Goetze and centre-half Mats Hummels, who he considers to be "in superior form".
The Dortmund men have indeed been in excellent form all year, having led their team to a commanding 11-point lead in the Bundesliga. They were both capped in a November friendly against Sweden, and should earn playing time in the Italy match.
By contrast, Mainz duo Lewis Holtby and Andre Schuerrle will likely miss out. With their club having lost four of their last six games and slipped to fourth place in the Bundesliga, the youngsters are seen to be in lesser form than they were in November, and are expected to be relegated to the Germany U-21 team, which will face Greece in Athens on Wednesday.
In addition to Holtby and Schuerrle, captain Michael Ballack is almost certain to miss out due to a lack of match practice. The 34-year-old is only just returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines and has only played 124 minutes since his comeback. However, the 'Capitano' remains a potential call-up for Germany's matches against Kazakhstan and Australia in late March.
Loew, who celebrates his 51st birthday today, is expected to reveal his squad for the Italy match on Friday at a press conference in Dortmund.