Mesut Ozil will miss Germany’s final two World Cup qualifiers due to a knee injury, Joachim Low has confirmed.
Leroy Sane and Jerome Boateng have been recalled by Joachim Low, but Mesut Ozil is missing as Germany look to seal their World Cup place in the final two qualifiers of Group C.
Both Sane and Boateng were left out of the previous squad as Germany edged closer to Russia 2018 with victories over Czech Republic and Norway.
Low’s side have a perfect record from their eight games and know a point in their match with Northern Ireland will seal their place in next year’s finals.
But they will have to do it without Ozil, who is a surprise omission with a knee injury despite featuring as a late substitute for Arsenal against West Brom on Monday.
He was not part of their Europa League win over BATE, but the Gunners did not say he had suffered any fitness setback.
Ozil is joined on the sidelines by Sami Khedira (thigh) and long-term absentees Manuel Neuer (foot), Jonas Hector and Mario Gomez (both ankle).
“It is regrettable that some of our players cannot be there,” said Low.
“With Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, I expect them to make a good recovery during the international period, which is more important for them right now.
“The important thing for us is that they will be fit next year.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is expected to start in Neuer’s place, while Sane’s impressive early season form for Manchester City should help ease the burden of being without Ozil.
After Germany’s trip to Belfast on October 5, the world champions will host Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern.
“We have played a very strong qualification so far, but we should continue to do so,” added Low. “Our goal is to record 10 victories. We want to pass this qualification successfully.
“If we focus on our strengths we will succeed.”