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Saturday, September 6, 2008
Sports

Tasci gets his chance

Inexperienced defender Serdar Tasci has been preferred to 2002 World Cup and Euro 2008 finalist Christoph Metzelder for Germany's opening 2010 World Cup qualifier, assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick announced on Friday.

The Germans - semifinalists in the 2006 World Cup - take on minnows Liechtenstein on Saturday in Vaduz and Flick said that 21-year-old Tasci, who has one cap, had earned his place on merit.

"He (Tasci) was really good against Belgium (a 2-0 friendly win in August), and showed he was ready to step up to the senior team," said Flick of the son of immigrant Turks who plays for VfB Stuttgart.

Whilst Flick refused to suggest that 47-timers capped Metzelder's time as automatic first choice had come to an end, his demotion comes after a series of under-par performances by the Real Madrid defender.

"Today in football, there are not just 11 players good enough to start a match, but 18-20 who could be considered good enough to begin.

"To have such an embarrassment of riches is an advantage for us," said Flick who added that 24-year-old Piotr Trochowski would win his 14th cap in the middle of midfield as both Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings are injured.

Germany - who also play Finland on Wednesday - will face their biggest challenge in topping the group from Euro 2008 semifinalists Russia.

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