Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielder Marco Reus will not be part of the squad that takes on Armenia on Sunday in a World Cup qualifier, with coach Hansi Flick resting them due to a busy match schedule.

Flick is already without Leon Goretzka, who got kicked in the face in Germany’s 9-0 win over Liechtenstein on Thursday, as well as suspended defender Antonio Ruediger.

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The already-qualified Germans are also missing five players due to quarantine rules after defender Niklas Suele tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week.

“Manuel and Marco have played a lot of games so far,” Flick told a virtual news conference on Saturday. “We did that in order to control their burden and for them to get a breather ahead of the coming matches they have to play.”

“This is the right way. They still have to play a large number of matches, especially those who also play in international (club) competitions,” he added.

Flick said Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen would start in goal with attacking midfielder Kai Havertz also in the lineup.

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“The team that is here has our absolute trust,” he said. “It can also happen in a tournament that someone is injured or suspended. That is why alternatives are important.”

The Germans have already secured top spot in Group J and are on 24 points, with second-placed North Macedonia back on 15. Only the group winner earns automatic World Cup qualification.

“Our aim is to finish the qualification on a high,” said the coach, who took over from Joachim Loew in September and has won all six of his matches so far, giving him the best ever starting record for a Germany coach.

“We want to beat Armenia and we need to be alert at the back. They are a good opponent who want to play well against us. We will have the necessary respect, but we also know our quality,” he added.

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